Visions from a bathroom floor

He’d rasped for a glass of water.
I turned anxiously towards my mother
Looking puzzled at her errant daughter.

She saw a dying man, a parched throat.
I saw the phlegm, the spit, the germs.
Around his lips the drying white coat.

Compelled to ask, “Which glass to use?”
He saw through me. Through mother’s lies.
Years later, his angry eyes still accuse.

In that moment, both of us had hated me;
He was sick but I had made him untouchable.
Turned all my concern to mere mockery.

Some things, acts you just cannot forgive,
No matter how many months and years pass.
The self-loathing as you constantly relive.

In the meditative silence of the shower,
These ghosts come out to haunt you,
Turn up to exert their ungodly power.

In the silence, you’d do anything rather
Than recall memories of an emotional cripple
Who wounded, most ultimately, her father.


Things that could have been.

See you walk out the gate,
Onto the worn, dirty tar road
Coloured in by pencil lead.
Watch you walk away for the last time.
You are my biggest regret.

You don’t look back, never do.
Hiding in the shadows,
I don’t merit a second glance.
You were always watching me, watch you.
Your own harmless stalker.

Things I wish I’d said;
The broad planes of your face,
Exploding mass of curly hair,
I wish I was a painter
Just so I could capture them forever,
To have a picture of you.

What is the limit? I wonder.
The number of times that you
Can be caught staring at someone
Before you can’t say hello to them.
Before it’s too awkward.
Before they can see the naked longing
In your face.

I curbed my brazenness,
Told myself you were too important
To ruin with an offhand comment.
Something stupid about your hair
The band on your shirt,
The tattoo on your arm.
I curbed my brazenness,
Thus I never got to say hello.

Hiding again, silently in the shadows.
Your big desert boots clomping,
Out of my life for the last time.
Eyes slide to my hiding place,
See me see you see me.
Eyes daring me to take a chance,
Mocking my inertia.
For one brief moment we spoke without words.
Eyes slide away, as if nothing happened.
That’s how we say goodbye,
With me still watching.

P/N: Trying out a new style. I’m not a big fan of writing free verse, the urge to rhyme is too strong, and somehow I lose some of the words when I do. So I didn’t.


Attempting the daily prompt because this happened to a friend today and I felt inspired. It’s about tattoos. It is a bit cliched. But *sigh*

I will remember forever the walks we took together, your warmth as you snuggled up to me in bed.
I will remember the feeling of running my hand through your hair, of the silken threads between my fingers.
You left me by myself, the only cruel thing you have ever done. Could you feel all the tears I shed?
It’s been days since then, soon it will be weeks, yet the memory of your warm breath on my face still lingers.
You were my best friend, my only confidante. No matter what I did, you never questioned me, you never judged.
You just gazed at me, head tilted to one side, your brown eyes hiding all this wisdom that you never shared.
There have been times when I’ve been on cloud nine, other times when I’ve been beaten up and ostracized;
My only constant fan, I looked to you when lost; the shining pole star in my night sky of people who never cared.

You were with me through everything I have ever done and you will be with me through everything I will ever do.
Everything I am today, everything I will ever become; nothing, absolutely nothing was even possible without you.
You left a mark on me the day we met. You’ve left an indelible mark on me, on my heart, my mind and  my soul.
Your absence is terrible. Where your companionship and guidance was once; there is now in me just a gaping hole.
Even though you aren’t here to nudge me the right way, to make me optimistic and see everything as rose-tinted.
I will remember your gentle ways. Be the person you taught me to be. Your legacy that now on my body is imprinted.

Dreaming of reality

Drought had taken the land beneath my feet; the soil was crusted and dry.
The land turned to desert, no rain ever came, not even a change in the sky.
Dull sand dunes, like ancient tombs, now stretch out as far as the eye can see,
A nomad staggers about in a daze; I look again and see that that nomad is me.
I once stopped at an oasis, its banks were so grassy and waters crystal clear,
There were palm trees aplenty, ripe dates and berries and even camels to rear.
I stayed too long, became complacent. I bred familiarity. It bred contempt.
The wonders that I once found so very fine, could me no longer even tempt.
The sweet juice of the berries turned bitter, their flesh in my mouth was ash.
I razed my home to the ground; the trees fell in the pool with a bitter splash.
I was overcome by anger, by resentment; I had been failed by my only hope;
The sameness of everything gripped me, if nothing changed how would I cope?
And now, as I stagger about alone in my insanity;
I have nothing but my dreams to keep me company.

I dream of green fields, of tall trees, the enormous boughs of which house squirrels and birds, give sanctuary.
I dream of mountains and deep valleys, of snow melting into rivulets that run gaily down to the beautiful sea.

These grey claustrophobic walls, the ashen faces around;
The rods that bar our window, the laughter with no sound.
I am driven mad by our apathy, our unwillingness to change,
How we do not question the normal, reject anything strange.

We can water the land, the dry cracked land, but for how long will we?
The water just seeps through and disappears, not leaving any mark to see.
It will bleed you dry and leave you with cracked lips and pruned skin.
Your tearless eyes, unable to see, will not even be able to take it in;
That it is your withered body, a husk of your self that is now lying on the floor,
Guilty of naught but trying to bring about change and of always wanting more.

I dream of words running up my hands and legs, across my body into my opened eyes and mind.
I dream of the voiceless speaking, of wings sprouting from my back and the backs of mankind.
I dream of music flowing across the golden skies, soothing raw ears; a balm for the wounded soul.
I dream of like-minded souls around the banquet halls in heaven with words more rich than gold.
I dream of freedom, of passion, of wisdom beyond the boundaries of age, sex and society,
Of foolish words and inanities banished, I dream of pure, powerful thought in all its clarity.
Civilisation will progress at last. We will evolve. We will move forward, and thus,
Reach high, beyond the stars into the hands of the very God that created us.

Where did it go?

We were standing there mere moments ago, hand in hand, joined at the hip.
We were standing there when suddenly your hand out of mine started to slip.
Did I notice? I don’t know. If I did I would have held on tighter still.
Or maybe I did, and like water from a tightly clasped fist you did spill.
A kick of your heels, a fleeting smile and you had vanished in the air,
And all that was left was the memory of you, the missing half of our pair.

I’m different now than I was then, when we started our journey hand in hand.
Maybe an invisible hand had created and overturned our hourglass full of sand.
Was it my growing aggravation with stupidity? The bitterness of my intelligence?
Or was it your constant apathy? Or your inherent need to indulge in nonsense?
We drifted apart, like two paper boats floating down a stream after a rainstorm;
I capsized, you sailed stately on. Now I’m sinking in the mud, lonely and forlorn.

The reasons are not trivial, it’s not about how we have both changed since then;
I was drowning long before you noticed, and when you did you left, I reckon.
You’d known me for years, yet you didn’t know me at all. Why did you never try?
I would’ve never dragged you down with me. Tied you down when you needed to fly.
You were my only respite from my daily troubles, someone to cure my loneliness,
Even now with my wounded ego, my punctured pride, if you asked to return I’d say yes.

Or maybe not. I’m not too sure. How far can a person be pushed before they fall
Over the precipice they’re balanced upon only to realise they can’t fly after all?
You tried, I tried, to salvage something but we’re now beyond continuing this farce.
The dreams are shattered now, lying about my feet; broken shards of silvered glass.
Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of your smile in one, in another the twinkle of your eye.
We stand on opposite sides of the hourglass now and watch the final grains trickle by.

There is a stillness within me.

Dark bodies writhing in a darkened room, senses heightened.
The slick, sensual slither of warm brown skin over skin,
I stand outside the door, hand poised to knock, frightened,
The bass drops, the door swings opens and I’m invited in.
I’d rather be anywhere but here, I say whisper to myself,
These wanton masses disgust me. I don’t approve, I don’t belong.
As I watch them grind together, hips touching, lips touching,
Mouthing along the perverse inanities that pass for a song,
I judge them.

It’s not my place, I know that well, but this is almost a reflex,
My thoughts flitter over many planes, but this is a taboo realm.
The stench of sweat, the smell of cheap wine on their breath,
This powerful bouquet of scents your senses overwhelm,
I hate this random motion around me, and yet I long to belong,
Gyrate my hips and fit in; no difference the naked eye can see.
Moving to the arrhythmic music, amidst the motion of the crowd;
I am the eye of the storm; there is a stillness within me.
I feel free.

I’d rather be anywhere but here, I think to myself again;
I feel everything that I stand for slowly slipping away,
The untrained eye sees the loss of my ideals and individuality,
It doesn’t notice that it’s at the edge of the circle that I sway.
I am, as always, just one step behind, just one step away.
I am not one of them. I will never be that effortless, that free.
It saddens me and yet somehow I’m glad I’m not a part them,
They’re mindless drones following a cosmic choreography.
I dance with them.

As long as I’m moving, the stillness within me persists,
Like a shark that drowns the moment it ceases to swim,
I keep the stillness from being swallowed up by the darkness,
I dance till my body is tired and the morning sky is dim.
This tranquillity seeps through my bones and into my tired brain,
I am relaxed now, there’s no overthinking no overanalysing.
The stillness within me has cooled and spread, I feel safe.
My brain is broken but my disease no longer paralysing;
I sleep in peace.

Ripped my heart out

I stand alone in a darkened room; shoulders hunched, fists clenched, toes gripping the cold floor. So suddenly and yet it was somehow expected – a thudding sound and a piercing pain. A sharp cry is heard as the knife slides between my ribs. It scrapes against the bone. I swivel around rapidly, looking for the source and shudder to find my shaking hands wrapped around the hilt.

I withdraw it, thinking of throwing it away when I’m seized by a sudden urge. I slam it in again. And again. And again. Gouging out my heart, mincing the flesh around, cutting open the organ that has caused so much hurt and emptying it of the gloopy oil inside.I tear it out of my chest and fling it aside; hands dripping for a few moments before the blood dries and congeals, making intricate tattoos on my palms and forearms. The blood soaks through my shirt and falls to the puddle pooling at my feet.

I beat my sodden chest, a macabre drumbeat, the timeless tempo echoing with grief. I thump my chest, magnifying the dull ache; feeling a brief moment of the sharpness that grants me clarity every time my skin makes contact with the mangled flesh until I can feel the sharpness no more. The clarity I need no longer available no matter how hard or how fast I hit my bloodied bosom. I scratch my eyes, claw at my skin in desperation, trying to find that beautiful moment of peace. A moment in which all thought stopped, a moment that I wish was more than just a moment but instead was my reality.

I shove my fingers into my mouth, trying to tear myself in two, drawing blood from the inside of my cheeks. I poke, I pinch, I tear. I rub myself raw until I there’s nothing left of me but wounds and rapidly scarring flesh.
I fall to my knees in the blackness, sobbing and the only testimony to the passage of time is the quiet splash of the steady dripping of my tears.