A Silence of Intense Thoughts

“It was always a pause, and then the silence of intense thoughts that crossed the room, the sounds of minds opening, being filled not with words, but with the emotion in between them, brimming not with verse and lyricism, but with memories of their beauty, their rhythm that sounded like music”

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Art by: Pascal Campion

When I first studied literature and poetry, I was struck by the intentional silence left in between sentences and stanzas that were read out loud. The teacher was giving us a moment to contemplate, to wonder, to pin down a feeling, or capture a thought process, to appreciate it within a larger context, making us question whether any one thing was truly random or whether it all connected into another sub-layer of meaning.

It was always a pause, and then the silence of intense thoughts that crossed the room, the sounds of minds opening, being filled not with words, but with the emotion in between them, brimming not with verse and lyricism, but with memories of their beauty, their rhythm that sounded like music. And I like to think, even with the indescribable essence of a novel or poem that is not the same for any one person.

We broke down stories into parts, then parts into chapters, chapters into passages. Passages into paragraphs, paragraphs into lines, lines into a sentence. And further even, sentences into words and silences. Quietly, we filled the blanks in between the words with deeper meaning wrought from our own experiences. We wrote our lives in all the stories we read, in all the verse we learnt. To read is not passive; we use our own lives to  understand that of others’. We create silences to fill with the unknown.

And that silence, that is when I would stop being in a classroom, wearing an ill-fitting uniform, just a name among so many others. On the outskirts of fiction and reality, there would exist, for a few stretches of silence, a complex world that would perish at the first word spoken.


Note: This is Day 29 (Already!) of my little NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. Tomorrow’s the last day, so I hope you’ve been enjoying it. Meanwhile, you can check out the entry for Day 27 here 🙂

Break my heart, please.

“I need you to do me a favour
and break my heart please.
I am stepping out into this world,
and I need to know how it feels…”

Chiara-Bautista.jpg
Art by: Chiara Bautista

I need you to do me a favour
and break my heart please.
I am stepping out into this world,
and I need to know how it feels
to bring down these well-built walls,
to be soft, tender, vulnerable,
naked yet not hiding,
to give someone the power
to crush you and then watch
as they do.

Because the world breeds heartbreak
and I need to know.
I would rather step in broken
than go whole and well,
hopeful and wanting
only to return a shell
of dashed hopes and disenchantment.

More Than Your Numbers

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Photograph by: Kyle Thompson

I don’t want to see you as the sum of the numbers that make up your life.

The likes on your selfies, the number of followers you have on Instagram,
how many girls you’ve kissed
or the number of times you’ve held a cigarette between your lips.

I want to know you for all the parts of you that don’t make sense,
for the mess of thoughts you are before the ink bleeds from your pen.
I want to hear all the things you hide
when your friends ask you if everything’s alright.

I want to touch that mark on your skin you got
one day when you thought you weren’t enough.
I want to feel the words she tattooed on your wayward heart
before she upped and left you in parts.

I don’t want you to strut your stats
(5o likes for a photo of your feet in blue waters)
and think that I care for your numbers.
I don’t care; I’ve never been good at maths.

No, I want to see that beautiful mess of a soul,
and lose myself in all the mysteries it holds.