Category Archives: Last Week’s Poetry

Walking

Each day I walk a road that twists through life
and at the end of each imperfect step
I find another step, another stride
that leads to houses known as homes inside

Each day I walk a road that seems alone
that does not carry footprints’ memories
Yet when I walk I know the roadsides hold
a thousand feet, and numbers yet untold

Each day I walk a road and think I walk
without an angel by my every side
Yet as I walk I smile because I know
my God walks each sore step along my own

And as I walk I travel through this life
to homes, in others’ shoes, and by myself
And every time I lift my shadowed feet
I span a soul, a step upon this street

M.
Nov 10/11

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Spontaneous Computer-Lab/Cafeteria Poetry

Today I found myself in the awkward position of not having written any poetry for a week….
Since I figure that posting an earlier poem would defeat the purpose of “Last Week’s Poetry,” I’ve decided that I will go for spontaneity today. So if this sounds nothing at all like what you expect from me, please excuse it. I’ll be back with more refined content next week.

Stream-of-Consciousness as a Poem

Air whisks its way
past the skin-on-my-ears
It hums with filters and
the clack of keyboard/fingers/hitting
bounces through the air

Dishes distantly decide their
dismay in being served
like scum – some scum? –
They think they’re made
for better things
than cafeteria days

Voices, they exist
like little nails on/tries on/words on
And we all speak in
the English that defines
where we come in, come from

These things perceived
– I dream big things and
wait for loud-sounds-hey-shouts
in the distance
And the tables rearrange
themselves in groups

Last litters at the end
I’m back to air
and pipes that whistle with
the little skin they find
Between their fingers/voices/hands

M.
Nov 3/11

Missing Out

Living away from family and friends is tough sometimes. There’s always a lot of good things, right, but the long and short of it is: you’re missing out. And so are they, in a way.

It’s only the distance, right?
I’m so far away from all the messes
– make my own –
so far away from all
the cancer and the ugly truths
– have ’em here too –
so far away from daily struggles
– it’s snowing here –
so far away from home

It’s funny how I call it that
home – as if
I’m missing your theater tryouts
and the fact that there’s a new teacher
at my old high school
– new teachers for me too –
the fact that you’re still riding everyday
– I miss my bike –
the fact that dinners and our tiny
three-bedroom house for five
– I’ve got two –
look so much flatter on the screen

Did I mention that it’s winter here?
No, not outside – it’s winter
in the way it’s not the rain
– we all precipitate –
It’s winter in the books that
are still left on the shelf, unread
– they’re lonely –
in the way that I can live alone now
unencumbered, also empty
– cook my own meals and everything –
It’s winter in the treats I bake on weekends
cause an introvert
– that’s me –
is so much better left alone

Did I mention moving out?
It means living in your own head
– you miss my art –
living in a space so undefined
– and what about your oil pastels? –
living in a winter house so white
you’re missing out
– your nursing books and
push-up runs and
those fun evening videos –
living in anticipation
of the day when I come home again

M.
Oct 20/15

The Friend Spectrum

I only wrote a single poem this week – a poem about friendship. I was musing about what makes a friend, and how friendships come to be, and it just kind of morphed into my go-to format: a sonnet. Funny, really, because I had a conversation about friendship just the day after. How it’s so hard to tell when it starts, and how it’s so hard to know when friendship begins and when it ends.

Friend

What point decides that you become my friend?
I think about the spectrum, grey and long
where strangers overflow at one lone end
and good companions opposite belong
yet know not where the shift of int’rest lies
and whether time or distance or mere looks
contribute to the shift that always tries
to captivate more souls into shared nooks
It seems so artificial in a way
that I should know you and that you’d see me
For I judge easy, though my every day
is struggling just to let each person be
Yet if who you are stretches to this end
it seems that you somehow become my friend

M.
Oct 15/15

This is not a Rose

In 1929, Rene Magritte revolutionized the way people saw images by painting “The Treachery of Images” – a painting of a pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.” (this is not a pipe) underneath. The message is incredibly profound: what you see is not a pipe. It is simply an image of a pipe.

For this week’s Last Week’s Poetry, I wrote a piece that deals with similar thoughts. We attribute so much meaning to different things, and often our meaning stems not from the thing itself, but from how it is presented and what we associate with it.

This Rose

This rose is not a rose so much as it
is freedom in a flower given me
while I pursue the light of roses lit
and burning as they’re rent from their home tree

This rose is not a rose because it’s red
It’s not a flower for its petaled sight
I cherish it for things you showed and said
instead of loving it for its own light

This rose is not a rose I still declare
It may be fair, it may be bright and still
but roses for their own sake own no flair
They merely grow and prick my hands at will

This rose is not a rose because I love
this rose more than the flowers bunched that day
For none did meet my hands, which held above
were empty in their own thorn-broken way

But know this rose is much more than a rose
because you were the one who handed me
this rose, already falling like it knows
that destined things don’t always have to be

But destined things mean more when we decide
to take them in our hands though they bear thorns
that prick us and make us give up our pride
and weather love through hardship and through storms

This rose is not a rose but like myself
it clings to you; it needs no earthly wealth

M.
Oct 12/15, henna on skin, GIMP edits added

Nuit Blanche and the Breath of Toronto

Saturday night I had the opportunity to go to Nuit Blanche – an all-night art event in Toronto. While I’m not sure if I would do it again, it was definitely a good experience, and here are some thoughts I collected along the way. Who knew that poetry at 3 am could make sense…

Breath

We breathe a thousand aching ways
When night replaces endless days
And sunsets turn the air to gold
Inside these thoughts we steal to hold
Our breath tells tales of mist and might
And in the dawn of dim street-light
We drink of night itself and air
Of coffee, smells, and darkness there
The hues we hold are wind and smoke
And paint with every waving stroke
A breath that speaks of sharpened tales
The sweet, sweet smell of city rails
And city streets with silver lights
Amidst the suns of moon-lit nights
Where we still breathe our lives away
And from our perfect planning stray

Which is alright since we believe
The night to praise as well as grieve
And daylight to its promise hold
Of sleep, of rest, of sunshine gold

There are more lines than we could write
Or read within this single night
But here it ends, the night still long
And we, with aching feet, walk on

M.
Oct 4/15

Distance

Day one of my first series, and I’m already behind… sounds about right. Anyways, here’s last week’s poetry: a piece that explores how hard it is to be away from the people you love. Expats, college kids, and newly-moved-out folks, this is for you.

Distance

I sit here.
I only talk to you
– I sit here,
staring at the
cracks in the ceiling,
those black memories
we made fall when
I sit here,
no longer remembering
no longer privy to
this daily ache inside
and when
I sit here
I just think because
I’m all alone
and you can’t hear
the thoughts I send your way
the thoughts I try
to send your way
and now
I sit here –
I’m not comfortable
and this precious life
I’m living feels
so loud like I’m alive
and still
I sit here
and I think and say
no words because
the silence makes me feel
that when
I sit here
I’m surrounded by
the thoughts you send
my way when

you just sit there
and you think of me

M.
Sep 28/15