Wait

I let the wind ripple through the curtains,

I wanted to be sure it existed.

I let the rain soak me to the bone,

I needed proof to comprehend it.

I let the flames melt my skin,

I wanted to confirm that fire wounded.

Now, I hold my breath,

Wishing that heaven is real.

 

I caressed the printed words of a clichéd novel,

I wanted to feel something as fragile as paper cut.

I travelled away from home,

I wanted to run till the city lights lost in dusky slumber.

I gave my food away,

I did anything not to feel so numb.

 

I didn’t find anything that was promised.

Where is the Second Coming predicted by Yates?

When will Lady Lazarus rise from the ashes?

I stare at paper thin walls because I’ve looked into the sun for too long

I embrace the stones on barren land because I’ve walked on grass forlorn

All this time, I hold my breath waiting for heaven to be real.

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

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Dear Chester

 

This is my second attempt at this. When I tried writing this before, I was so overwhelmed and out of words that this post turned out to be a mesh and I dumped it in my drafts folder until I could muster the strength to revisit it.

I don’t want to reiterate how amazing and talented Chester was and how much he influenced the world; that has been said before along with numerous things and I’m not going to get into any of it. Despite the title and the tags, this post is about me.

I’ve been depressed throughout most of my teenage and adult life. And as any book or movie about teenage depression will tell you, I have contemplated killing myself on numerous occasions. I remember the one time I even attempted it; I walked on the ledge of the roof of my house with my eyes closed, praying to God to kill me, because I was too chicken to do it myself. And I’m thankful I was.

The things that happened to me were neither too tragic nor too painful if you compare it to the sorrows enveloping the rest of the world. But they were too much for me to handle; they seemed like the end of the world to me and I just wanted the pain to end. The thing about depression is that it gives you a tunnel vision; your view of the world shrinks and it is as if you are in solitary confinement in a tiny cell, thinking you matter to no one and, in fact, the world would be a better place without you because no one cares. You start finding reasons why everyone hates you, adding to your own resentment and the million reasons you hate yourself. It’s a deep maze there seems to be no way out of. I’ve been there, stuck in the middle of it, with darkness engulfing every inch of my body while my screams drowned in the bottomless void of my soul. And I got out of it. It is this experience that has defined me for rest of my life, because I knew if I could come out of this hell, I could pretty much handle life.

Music helped me a lot. Numb by Linkin Park kept me alive and breathing. Every time I sang along to it, at the top of my voice, I felt my pain mattered. That I mattered. That I wasn’t alone in going through this. Iridescent got me through some horrible times as well, as I tried to hold on to hope and let go of my pain, failures and tears. As it did hundreds who swear by the band and its epicness. Leave Out All the Rest, In the End, What I’ve Done, Crawl and dozens of other songs defined a whole generation. It made us who we are.

The reason why I’m so broken by Chester’s death is that he died because of the same thing he saved me from. And no one could help him out of it, like he helped me. It is the irony of this twisted fate that brings me to the brink of tears every time I think about it. It’s wrong and it hurts.

Music and words helped me get out of my labyrinth and it has made me all the more strong. It has made me independent and suppressed my need to depend on other people in times when I’m going through things. Which has in turn improved my relationships because I’m not let down by them anymore; I have no expectations because I know I’m enough for me. I still feel a little unhinged at times and I’m still on the path of discovering who I am but I’m happy with where I am in life. All because I didn’t end my life on the ledge that day. I have a goal and I’m trying my best to work a path towards it, failing and flailing all along the way. I still get depressed at times, but I know how to pull myself out of it now.

If you think that you don’t matter, you are wrong. Talk to someone if you’re going through something that is too much for you to handle. Get help. Read as much as you can about people who are going through the same things. Meditate. Let go of the pain. Let it rebuild you from the core. Listening to music. Read books that speak to your soul. Paint. Dance. Sing. Do whatever that makes you feel alive. You don’t really need to care about the rest of the world. All you need to do is repair your soul, because you are made of the same cosmic dust that floats through the sun and stars.

You are the sun and stars.

You are strong enough.

I will miss Chester with all my heart. He saved my life and I will forever love him for it.

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

23 Poems Before I Turn 23 Challenge: A Song from the Suds

Poem number 4

A Song from the Suds by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott is among the queens of queens and I dote on her. She is one of the authors who have permanently been on my reading list and I do hope I can someday strike her name off that never ending Neverland of a parchment. I have grown up watching the Little Women anime and the 1949 adaptation has been a favourite. Although I must admit that I’ve quite forgotten the specifics of the tale since I last saw the movie 6 years ago or so. This challenge has reminded me of my teen love and I will surely fall back into its arms as soon as I get the opportunity to sweep away the mundane dust of life (which is pretty much the theme of my next poem).

The Poem:

Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
While the white foam raises high,
And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring,
And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
Under the sunny sky.

I wish we could wash from our hearts and our souls
The stains of the week away,
And let water and air by their magic make
Ourselves as pure as they;
Then on the earth there would be indeed
A glorious washing day!

Along the path of a useful life
Will heart’s-ease ever bloom;
The busy mind has no time to think
Of sorrow, or care, or gloom;
And anxious thoughts may be swept away
As we busily wield a broom.

I am glad a task to me is given
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health, and strength, and hope,
And I cheerfully learn to say-
“Head, you may think; heart, you may feel;
But hand, you shall work always!”

My Thoughts:

I adore the simplicity of the poem. The words mean what they appear to mean, yet Louisa’s art of writing is pretty evident in the crafting of her sentences: they are short, crisp and lyrical. Her sense of humour is unparalleled and philosophical, if I might call it that. Her thoughtfulness is evident, but it is the clarity of her thoughts and words that I love the most, for clarity is something I strive to achieve in my writing. I have a muddled mind and I am a frazzled human being. And anybody who is not so inspires me and captivates me and enchants me.I am enthralled by this poem.

This is going to be one of the poems I will read to my kids someday, for it is beautiful and funny. Louisa compares a washcloth, out of all the things in the word, to life! And anybody who can pick up such a mundane and common thing and find beauty and grandeur in it is gifted according to me. She reiterates my philosophy of life: make yourself so busy that you have no time to think about the dullness and trauma surrounding life. This is something I’ve been doing ever since I took a lone trip this summer to satiate my wanderlust and realized that I’ve been fooling myself into believing that I’m not a loner. I realized during my sojourn just how beautiful life is when you do not have to depend on anybody else, but march to the beat of your own heart. Relationships are treacherous; they fool you into believing that you cannot survive on your own, when in fact being your own wolf pack is spectacular (and addictive). I’ve become so involved in myself that I barely have the time to think about unnecessary complications (but I still do drown in my misery sometimes, for I too am human).

I guess Louisa has found the answer to Alaska’s question, “How do you escape the labyrinth of suffering?” Dwell on thoughts, be angry and sad and broken, but do not stay idle. Work towards something. Work for something. Goals are one of the things that breathe sensibility into human existence. And all I do to stay sane is keep my eyes on the prize, when every inch of my body wants to stand and stare.

4 down, 19 poems and 24 days to go!

© That Girl in the Fray, 2015. All rights reserved. 

On Days When You Feel Lost

On days when you can’t see the stars at night

when the demons in your head won’t let you sleep

when the insipid illusion of life turns you into a nonchalant drone

when all is but a barren sunless dystopia

I promise to hold you in my arms

to tell you that you are loved and cherished

that I will be there through hell

I’ll be there through heaven

I’ll be the knight in your night

and the blue sky in your day

And the smell of iron rust of routine and dailyness

will, thus, be marred by the promise of May.

Comfortably Numb

Hath time been an enslaved dove I keep chained in the chamber,

My bidding an edict etched in stone for its survival,

It would fly to the cinematic moments I lack the strength to delete

The photographs I speak to night after endless night,

So I would stop myself from feeling I finally belonged.

To moments so I would hold my tongue from giving away a thousand hidden sentiments.

I would scream at myself, think, think for your mind is but a padded lock,

Think, you fool, for you know it is but a masquerade.

I would cry a thousand tears at once

to not have enough for the single drops that fall for a thousand nights.

I would inflict enough wounds on myself to be numb to the fight.

Numb, for I am numb now to every star every thunder,

My soul embracing the deep slumber.

Beauty is dead, my sorrow is a vacant stinging hollow.

Never Let Me Go

It scares me to death when he puts his arm though mine and we walk into the soiree.

I hold my breath because I’m constantly waiting for the reverie to shatter.

For Cinderella too had her midnight, so shall I in this melancholic story .

I steal a glance at him while walking through the crowd, his ethereal fingers laced through mine.

The brown in his eyes stabs my soul a million times.

I am so in love with him, it breaks me to pieces and I fall apart in a clatter.

He holds me by the waist before even an inch of me caresses the marbled floor.

He knows every movement of my every muscle, every molecule of my breath, every beat of my cracked heart.

He recognizes the look in my eyes, his eyes reading the parchment of unspoken words in my core.

I can sense the gold of his aura drawing in the darkness of mine, turning to an odious grey.

Because that is what we are: mud, and ashes, and rotting vile corpses left unburied in a gruesome fray.

I’m an ignominy, a misfit to the incomprehensible mess his world calls art .

His lips part to say the words I know will melt my fire, sway my conscience for sure.

I refuse to be his hamartia anymore.

I step away from him, every inch of distance a ray of relief, a knife in my heart, a pin in my eye.

Never let me go,” I whisper as a last goodbye.

A Message into the Void

I dedicate this to every soul on this planet who has ever felt like a misfit,

To those who have felt the coldness creep into the spine as they look upon the world, with no sound but the beating of their own heart and nothing to keep them warm but their own breath,

To every braveheart who has stood up for a belief so strong, pure and powerful that it scares the multitude, who is unable to grasp its beauty,

To every innocent soul who has trusted someone despite their better judgement, let down their walls and allowed someone to see their true self sans the inherent protective cavalry, but instead of acceptance found criticism, judgement, deceit and a crumbling wall of fake vows.

To everyone who has ever felt alone, judged, deceived, heartbroken, unloved, unappreciated, cheated, ignored, hollow, unwanted, misunderstood, awkward, weak, frail, broken, lost, I dedicate every word, every syllable, every thought, every idea to you.

No matter how hard it is not to believe in the goodness of people, the truth is that you will be let down by most of them. Then infiltrates the anger, mostly at your own self for ever trusting someone with your thoughts and secrets. And then comes in the determination to never ever trust anybody again, to build castle walls around your heart, to shut your soul off in the highest tower and throw away the key so that it can never be found and no one can ever hurt you again. But then despite all of the pain and suffering and tears, you open the castle doors after piecing together your shattered soul, sewing up your tattered heart, and venture out again, get hurt, come back, lock yourself up, cry, and the vicious cycle never breaks.

One thing that I’ve realised as I’ve had people rip my heart out again and over again is that in the moments I feel completely and utterly alone, like I’m the only person to ever feel so brutalized at the hands of cold, oblivious and inhumane antagonists of my life, I visit the darkest places imaginable, my mind drowns in the depth of the deepest darkest thoughts and I feel utterly lost. It is in these moments we need to hold on to the beauty and peace that seems like an illusion, a chimera, a mirage at such times.

As John Green says, “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in the world. But you do have some say in who hurts you.” I do believe that there’s an exception out there, someone who is going to make me question every opinion I have and prove all my cynical perceptions wrong, someone worth all the pain and suffering, someone who will be the reason for me to break down all walls. But until the day I meet that noble soul, I refuse to be hurt by ungrateful fiends. I wield the shield of numbness, indifference and ignorance as I wander alone, my moments of clarity guiding me home against the forces of the wind and tide. I choose not being hurt.