Another Letter Home From Melbourne

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Photography: mxqqy (self)

update mother,
people are packed closer here
but that means I can finally hear
the thumping of foreign hearts
as they jostle – collide, fumble – thrive,
and how wonderful it is to be able to breathe
as winter’s last bouts of rain
washes my deluded expectations clean.

(oh, and you know what?
I have begun to appreciate
my daily dose of intimacy
on crowded trams,
as they crawl up swanston street.)

yes mother,
there is more distance here
but the ones I love are forever intertwined
in the chords of my apple earphones.
I complain about 6pm traffic every day
and I do not remember when the rush hour noises
faded into a familiar hum.

As I watch purpose-filled businessmen
and teenagers with rose coloured dreams
roam our prison-bar shaped CBD,
they remind me of my mentor
and who I used to be.
Continue reading “Another Letter Home From Melbourne”

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girl by the sea

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do you remember
the time you cried
as the midnight waves
washed away
her sea foam love
as I tried to drag
your listless body
back to shore?

do you remember
the time vodka and mistakes
ran through my veins
and I clung desperately onto
something, anything
to anchor myself
in this maelstrom of life
and you became
my false sense of security?

because I remember
when you told me
that you were starting to like
the girl who lives by the sea
shy, kind and sweet
salt-stained hair
and sunset cheeks
I guess I stopped listening
when you confessed
that you still yearned
for the mermaid
who didn’t stay,
and that’s when you became
my next mistake.

Continue reading “girl by the sea”

Tiny Letters I Will Never Send: Part Three

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Part 3: musings & reflections on this/us

To readers of this blog (and other poets, artists or storytellers of any shape & form),

Do you ever find yourself gravitating towards trite and uninspiring metaphors to retell the same old stories?

Because I do and it’s been bothering me a lot lately.

A quick scroll down my page & you’ll see my obsession with comparing unrequited love, broken friendships and my overthinking mind to oceans, storms and dark starless nights.

On one hand, I know that it’s so important to always tell your own truth and this constant struggle with body image, establishing boundaries and vocalising my feelings to other people has been mine since I was a little girl. That being said, at times, there’s just this nagging voice at the back of my head that this is an excuse for me to be my own worst enabler.

Instead of focusing on living on the present and fulfilling my responsibilities in the real world, I am finding myself losing hours of the day wallowing in self pity (but as soon as I think that, another voice pipes up in my head telling me that I’m being too harsh and sabotaging my opportunities to feel vulnerability)

I feel like the root of the problem is that I haven’t been able to find balance. At one extreme, it feels like I’m picking apart the stitches that hold me together every few days just to see what words will spill out from from the seams and at the other, I am always swallowing words at the tip of my tongue, smiling, and letting strangers trample over my comfort zone because it’s a shortcut to their happiness, you know?

Continue reading “Tiny Letters I Will Never Send: Part Three”

the storm to be (she)

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Image courtesy of: Weewill

trigger warning: to be safe, there are mild allusions to self harm, body image issues, depression etc.

grey skies
and downcast eyes
the lost girl
leaves a trail of
silence and half-lies
in the hopes
that she’ll find
salvation
before the storm
arrives

she has already tried
drawing maps
on her arm
to help her navigate
the cold black nights
but she could never
find the way
before the cross-roads
faded into jagged lines
that mark her skin
with rods of blinding light

Continue reading “the storm to be (she)”

World Suicide Prevention Day: Guest Poem by Jess Rayner

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Image courtesy of: Hahanoui

For anyone who has thought suicide is the best option:

If you were to die today,
the sun will still rise
even if you’re not here to see it.
The stars will still shine
and the moon will still glow
and how beautiful the flowers will be
even if you’re not here
to appreciate them.

If you were to die today,
your mother would still be a mother
and Joy would still be a sister
but your girlfriend,
she would not remain so –
she lost her title
as soon as you lost your battle.

If you were to die today,
our group of three
will now become two
until one of us could not carry on
as an even number.
We were meant to be odd
and oddity doesn’t come
from you dying
it comes from you living
even if you do not want to.

If you were to die today,
we would lose a boy
who has lyrics instead of blood
coursing through his body.
Your beautiful body,
that you do not want to live in.

If you were to die today,
no one will get the chance
to fall in love with you.
No one will get the chance
to wear white
beside you at the altar.
We will all be in black
beside your grave stone.

If you were to die today,
you think that we would be okay,
that it would not matter
because no one cares about you
.
If no one cares,
why am I writing a fucking poem
about you dying
and crying about it?

If you were to die today,
the best part of me will die too.
We are oceans apart
and my hand is still holding yours,
no matter how you feel.

If you were to die today,
the world will still continue,
but don’t you dare think
I would want to it to.
Don’t you dare think
that I would want to carry on
in this world
that slaughters young men
who are so desperate to hold on.


If you were to die today,
don’t you dare.
don’t you dare die today.


I really wanted to write something for World Suicide Prevention Day because I think it is such a great opportunity to raise awareness about this huge issue that always deserves to be talked about more.

After reading this poem Jess posted into a little poetry group on Facebook that we’re both part of, I realised I really couldn’t express my thoughts on the topic better than she has. With her permission, I am sharing this powerful piece with you all today.

This is the only post where I will actively ask you to please share if you can, because I think it is such an important message that really might be able to help someone that needs it.

Have a good day everyone.

Resources:

Lifeline (Australia): 13 11 14

Lifeline (New Zealand): 0800 543 354

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Internal Monologue of the Innkeeper

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every night,
I deliver my elixirs
of counterfiet happiness
to weary travellers
looking for
something more
to live for
but cannot find
anything beyond
the belly of the beast.

their journeys
have sapped their sensibilities,
turning them
into passive accomplices
of the monster of death
so today,
(or rather, every day)
they light up their necromancy sticks
and summon the reaper.

he greets me
in the form of wispy white tendrils
that soon wrap around my mind,
clouding any thought of escape.
taunting me with a deep kiss,
he leaves me breathless,
eyes stinging and throat burning
from the aftertaste of resignation.

he wants me
to always keep him
at the back of my mind
and who am I to complain
when I am nothing more than
an insignificant side character
at a pitstop
in these strangers’ adventures?

so I offer him a wager,
gambling on my future,
by hedging my bets on today.
in other words,
it’s just another typical night
at the inn.

Continue reading “Internal Monologue of the Innkeeper”

A Letter Home From Melbourne

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guess what,
mother,
people are packed closer here

foreign bodies stick together
under putrid heat
I can barely breathe
as the crowded tram
crawls up swanston street

and the boy
with sharp elbows
digging into me
is tethered to sanity
through lime-green earphones
that barely blocks out
6pm traffic
and all these strange heart beats

Continue reading “A Letter Home From Melbourne”

Tiny Letters I Will Never Send: Part Two

Part 2: Exes 

romantic and otherwise, to strangers that weren’t 

To my ex-best friend: I don’t remember what I did or didn’t do but I’m still sorry I hurt you and I wish I wasn’t the coward that run away from such trivial problems. More than that, I wish that I listened to my own mantra of ‘when the going gets tough the tough gets going.’ I wonder if you’ll remember my name when we’re both 80? p.s. I hope you knew that I love(d) you.

To my ex-boyfriend: They say that children are the most hurtful because they don’t think about what they’re saying or doing and looking back, we were definitely children. I think my favourite memory of us was the first time you took my hand and didn’t let go or maybe one of the numerous times where we’d at the back of KFC, shaking salt off of their (overly seasoned) fries as we talked about nothing in particular. The good thing about children is that eventually we grow up & I really don’t think present day us would have hurt each other so intentionally. p.s. I have yet to write a poem about you and I probably never will, no particular reason why.

To my ex-crush: You. You held my attention for the longest time and to this day, I don’t know how you did it. Did you know that I kept a diary around the time that we met? It’s so embarrassing how your name seems to litter every other page mixed in with excessive praise written in clumsy cursive. Thank you for conversations until 4am, for being the closest thing that I’ll ever have to the one that got away and for being my muse for too many angsty poems that I can’t find anymore. p.s. I am often up until 1am these days, watching rubbish television or writing university essays without noticing when the clock hits 11.11 but if I could have just one more wish, it would be for you to remember us sometimes, when nothing else is in your mind.

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To ex-maggy (2011): you weren’t as cool as you thought you were, sorry!

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The Combustion Triangle of the Heart

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in a world
without trust,
I will no longer feel the heat of betrayal

in a world
without betrayal,
I will no longer find fuel for hope

in a world
without hope,
I will no longer need to hold my breath

they say fire
needs three elements
to expel the dark

but I’m afraid
that a stray spark
could burn the entire town to the ground

perhaps it is worse,
that nobody can ever wring this wretched heart dry
and I shall drown in this lake named sorrow.

Continue reading “The Combustion Triangle of the Heart”

Tiny Letters I Will Never Send: Part One

Part One: Mum

Dear Mum:

I think it’s often the little things we do that speaks volumes and today I heard your love so clearly through a home cooked meal.

I decided to come visit you because it was the weekends and I knew I could squeeze a free lunch out of the trip so, why not, right?

As expected, you were cooking something simply mouthwatering when I arrived – udon noodles stir-fried with chilies, sliced capsicums, carrots and portobello mushrooms. A sprinkle of salt and a dash of sesame oil later, lunch was ready to be served.

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sadly I didn’t think to take a picture of my own meal at the time (photo credit)

I noticed that you had fried an egg earlier and put it on the side and that seemingly insignificant gesture to others reminded me of how thoughtful you are.

It was less than a week ago that I told you about being vegan and you didn’t really understand what I meant at first. Then you completely (but respectfully) disagreed with my views. You then transitioned to becoming concerned for my health and trying to convince me to change my mind.

Despite this, you cooked the egg on the side.

Moreover, you have always been a strong willed woman and you’re well into your forties. That’s more than enough time and personality to be obstinately set in your ways. Ways that include adding eggs to udon noodles because you think it’s healthy and adds flavour to the dish even after everything I’ve said about them.

Despite this, you cooked the egg on the side.

You took the trouble to cook the egg separately and add it to your own plate even if it would have been easier and more enjoyable for you if you just put it into the dish because you knew that it would bother me and that mattered to you.

Thank you mum, that was one of the most delicious and meaningful meals I have ever eaten. Thank you for always trying your best to respect, understand and love me even though you may not always support everything I do.

I haven’t made it easy either, I am definitely not getting an award for being the best daughter of the year any time soon. I think the last time I gave you something for Mother’s Day was before I entered high school (and that was a ‘card’ I wrote on the back of a fake $100 bill I printed on A4 paper and your name stitched onto fabric I claimed could be used as a phone case at that).

Sorry for tuning you out in favour of the arrogant whispers of my ego that I knew better and that I could do everything myself. It has taken me 18 years to figure out that I don’t have to treat you with childhood reverence or teenage contempt. I don’t quite know what this stage entails but I do know that I love you too and it’s about time I start treating you how you’ve always tried to treat me.

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and I promise to make yours a happy one in any way I can.


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