Healing: An Instruction Manual

There are clots on my skin
Marking spots
like milestones
along the length of my veins
with broken promises, lies and deceit

I have spent tireless nights
trying to pull them out –
Carefully, slowly
My hands, they were untrained, clumsy
Like a child
plucking flowers
for the first time
So I sat there, bewildered and curious
Shaky hands and shakier breaths
One by one,
I worked my way
from my head to my bones
My fingers were stained
red and black, cracked nails
and exposed skin –
a curious picture of pain and learning

When I was done, picked clean and bare
I saw welts on my skin
that stretched for miles
Bruises in places that were once tender
Jagged cuts that would soon turn
to crusty, scuffed tissue
Slowly scarring, leaving markers
An instruction manual of sorts,
One that I never got
A badly rhyming anthology on:
How not to lose yourself
in someone else’s world.⁠⁠⁠⁠




Dear honest and kind men of the Earth,
This is an ode
to your unseen struggles
You, with shoulders wide and proud,
that look strong but are burdened
under the weight of things
that give you sleepless nights and
restless days
You who lived life with a ready smile,
that is, alas, now eclipsed
Joy, that shows glimpses like the elusive red moon…
Remember, this will come to pass.
That which starts, must, eventually end.
And on days when you find hope and courage waging a war,
Remember what the Turkish say,
“A lion sleeps in the heart
of every brave man”
Take a breath,
look inwards
and feel
the silent roar
as it sparks out
from between your ribs
deep into your marrow
in gentle wakes and violent waves.

Constellations in Calligraphy

There’s something about
the way your hands find mine –
On a busy street,
Amid a conversation,
Or a lazy, quiet moment…
Your fingers,
elegant and warm, tracing patterns
Like a cartographer
from a faraway galaxy
Perfecting constellations in calligraphy,
Leaving every single touch
like a velveteen shiver
Suspended beyond
the gossamer threads of time.

Orion’s Belt, Legends Old and New


Orion’s belt. You point out a slender, beautiful finger, and tell me about the constellation, then trace the outline of “the warrior with his eye, two hands and feet,” I struggle to conjure the image but try nonetheless. I almost succeed till the sweet musky scent of your perfume and sweat – hanging delicately in the humid sea breeze –  distracts me. It’s getting me high and I scoot in a little, hungry for more. It’s an intoxicating yet calming rush, being this close to something so simple, so real. We’re laughing silly and you rain tiny kisses on my cheek, reducing me to a puddle. In that moment, something lets loose, a little sound like a sigh from my soul. I gesture with my finger and you lean in; my whisper of “I love you” has you giggling like a child. In that moment, I don’t care about anything, at all. Nothing at all.
You soon get talking about possibilities and alternate worlds where time does not exist and forevers are completely fathomable. I smile, beam, finally being allowed a peek inside the workings of your brilliant mind. You point out to the skies, we spot Mercury and Venus, talking about Zeus, legends old and new, while I wonder about how much I have to learn from you. Eyes trained heavenward, you seem engrossed – thinking about time-less galaxies. It’s beautifully quiet, except for the slight murmur of waves hugging the shore as the tide rises, matching the moon’s ascent in the sky. Amid all this, I sit close enough to breathe in your scent. Feeling secure and happy in our little bubble; as if the whole beach is deserted save for you and me. I think galaxies far away, look down with twinkling eyes while mine silently smile and wonder how exquisitely your gold-tipped lashes catch the light and shine.

Phantom Memories

Cotton candy afternoons
Chubby legs bouncing
off pink broken walls
They were a glossy picture
of childhood perfection
Dandelion smiles and twinkling eyes
Hot summer afternoons
spent chasing dragonflies
fluttering like the swallows that
danced in blue skies
6 feet of pasty mud
separate them now
He sits atop the apple tree
Lonely legs dangling,
missing the other pair
like a phantom pain
The skies wear
a cloak of velvet blue
He looks westward
There it is,
their rusty weathervane…
The brass rooster,
now mangled and
like the paperplanes
They would giggle and chase.

Weathervanes 1

Artwork: Desiree Mulvany

Emerald Sights

northern lights

Photo by Nigel Fearon on Flickr

The year was 2005
When I learnt of the Northern Lights
My eager mind absorbing details –
Protons, latitudes, and ions…
Creating the Aurora borealis

Now as I stand with you
Hand in hand
‘neath the emerald green skies
All the science fades away
And all I see is
Your brown eyes, luminous
And my heart shudders
As this moment is
Immortalised in time.

How Many Nautical Miles

nautical miles

artist Gediminas Pranckevicius

I still remember the summer noon
There were seas
in my eyes
That emptied out
drop by drop
And my heart felt
like an anchor
Hitting the ocean floor

I wish I could tell you

About the drag of the currents…
How many nautical miles…
As I waded through the storm
And crawled out of my
own salty skin.

Her Goddess

toppgraphy pic

Painting by Leslie Ann O’Dell (source: Pinterest)

Dearly beloved, do not hide from me
Let me get drunk on the galaxies
scattered on your back

Let me gaze
at the blue in your eyes
Touch the red in your hair and
Feel the pink on your cheeks
You, my love, wear hues
that would shame
the colours of
Spring after the Solstice…

Your hands, you say,
are clumsy and plain
But all I feel is a summery warmth
As your fingers knit with mine

Do not hide behind colours and threads
in hopes to alter your shape, for
The topography of your body,
is a brilliant, virgin land
with lush crests and verdant valleys

Your salty, sun-drenched skin
has my intrepid fingers eager,
My lips parched
And my soul enchanted,

Like Rain on Warm Pavement

Silence, cold and harsh, like a slap to the face. The only other sound audible in the tiny car is the faint tinkle of the tiny disks on her earrings, as she turns her head. She sits there behind the wheel. Stone-faced, unmoving, unfeeling, staring straight ahead.
The sweet lavender-scented air between them is now suffocating, as his mind tries to find semblance among the words unsaid. He smiles. Almost smiles, as a single tear traces down his freckled cheek at a sluggish, morose pace. Many moons ago, he discovered that silences were companionable and suddenly the grey skies of winter didn’t look so drab.
Now, whatever is left between them is reduced to that single tear, still marking its path down the curve of his stubbled jaw, shallow breathing and his heart crashing open, with a deafening stillness. The kind that you are left with, after rain on warm pavement.


artwork by Silvia Pelissero (source: Pinterest)