©2020 by photos&poems.

read some of my poems

and then head to "photos" to see the words come to life...

Cousins

I want to
lay beside you,
and count the different shapes
the clouds will permit us to form
in our minds,
as we hold hands,
fingers intertwining like roots
over roots,
a glove that is sticky to the touch yet smooth,
like hugs our hands give each other, 

sliding palm across palm
until our fingers are tight
and we both feel
we couldn’t possibly be squeezing 

any tighter.

I want to stare at the stars
at the hour that only crickets chirp, 

when bees are asleep and the light
is a mere smudge of orange glow, 

that warms our bodies like a fireplace 

in the bitter cold.

I want to remember the moments, 

when we were both young.
Best friends,
in the heat of the hot summer sun, 

partners in crime

to the mistakes
we committed against ourselves,
which burned our skin,
two stolen cookies and three late nights deep, 

lectures we received from our elders,
and lopsided smiles we shared in secret. 

Answer

In my right hand

I clutch the phone,

my eyes squint at the font,

at my words;

The words that tumble,

rise, crest, fall

from my ample fingertips.

They cloud the screen

like a storm.

 

Perhaps I wrote too much.

Maybe I'm being silly.

I think our relationship

is ending.

I think you don't love me.

I think I'm being needy.

I think, I think, I think… 

Tonight,

as I lay on that hard bed

in my semi- lit room,

it is the weight that roots 

into the tightly knit crevices 

of the knot in my throat

that makes my chest ache,

and it is the blistering fire

that spreads through my heart 

with shaking wings,

making me wait for you to speak,

that makes my eyes stay open.

 

But when I stare at my

"I love you"

and your automated answer:

"Read 12:32",

I close my eyes

in silent defeat.

Shower Thoughts

I often find I think most, 

when the water is beating down my back, 

and the steam is a white swirl 

that fills my ears and nose. 

When the only sound beside the crashes in my head 

is the slow trickle of water pooling at my feet, 

becoming a gentle pendulum that renders me lost 

in my own mind. 

 

I find answers here. 

Here I can sing my heart out, 

but every crick in my voice 

will be swallowed by the mess of towels near the door. 

Here I can cry at every mistake I've made,

but than each salty tear will become 

a pinprick, a dot on the glass, individual only for a second, 

before it slides away. 

Here I can write my doubts 

on the tile, 

but my pudgy fingers will only 

leave a trail of vanishing pixie dust. 

 

My shower is the lost and found of my soul, 

a hidden cave

in the Bermuda Triangle 

of my consciousness. 

Rose in Milk Jug

Words curl into drops of water that rejuvenate me
like the red rose drinking from its life juice 
out of the milk jar that’s cloudy and faded, 
its number eight greyed and worn 
and peeling out of the edges, 
green leaves beaded with condensation, 
clamping against the sides of the jug 
as they stay steadfast, so strong, so delicate. 
The sturdy light green stem reminds me of life and youth 
and my own seventeen years on this earth. 
Seventeen years having loved this world 
full of colors and shapes and sounds. 
It reminds me that my life is slowly curling 
at the edges one by one, 
like the shiny, velvety petals on the rose in the milk jug. 
So fragile, yet so strong.

Climate Change

Stop, for a second. 

See the mountain. 

Hear it. Feel it. 

This is your existence. 

You who has been, 

who is, 

who will be. 

Listen to the gentle heartbeat

of the earth. 

Stay calm, focused, 

ignore the din of the people, 

of those who do not know. 

Listen. 

Do you hear how the earth suffers? 

How it groans 

when starry skies become smudges 

made of graphite on paper? 

Do you feel the wet rain on your back, 

sticky and salty like the tears 

the moist soil breathes one last time 

before it is burnt into ashes?

Listen darling, listen.

You are the mountain now.

You are the beat.

You are the earth.

Learn darling, learn,

so that you can save

yourself.  

Circus Freaks

Downcast face,

paper mâché smile,

apple slice eyes

holding back tears.

 Creases on their faces mark             

faux emotions,

the eyeliner smudged

over rosy cheeks and outstretched fingers,

like marionette dolls.

End of an era

Always the piano changes, 

and like dark incense, 

our words float into an air 

that tastes like . darkness. 

 

The tears that I shed 

when I hear one last Laudate Pueri 

will never stop carving salty crevices 

into my cheeks 

and my hands will never stop dancing 

under the paper starch drenched in black ink 

and the leather of my binder, 

cold and smooth against my skin, 

reminding me to sing. 

I can hear the crescendoing passion 

that rises from my chest 

like an unquenchable fire 

settling slowly to the beat of the drum, 

searing the inside of the white church, 

leaving it charred and smoky and warm,

blackened with the words of permanence. 

Skirts woven of licorice layers, 

topped with a cherry made of cinnamon, 

our bodies dance to the pine-sap glow 

of the room mottled with shining faces

everyone together for the Christmas spirit.  

Matryoshka Dolls

When I was younger

I would play with my grandfather’s

matryoshka dolls,

that lived on the shelf by the piano

that I wasn’t supposed to touch,

high up, on the second glass rung.

 

I would sit there on the brown leather couch,

caramel curls coupled with white chocolate skin,

tumbling against

my grandfather’s navy blue sweater,

draped over his soft and sleepy shoulders.

 

The first doll was always the prettiest.

I would peel her away and set her apart.

Run my little fingers over the curled edges

of the red and gold paper that clung,

just barely,

along the thick parts of the wooden curves.

 

Head tucked under my grandfather's

long arms,

I would dream

of the pink tinge that would line my lips,

a long gold pendant

that would adorn my chest.

Pink bows in my hair,

my own matryoshka:

the outermost layer.

 

The second doll was the strongest.

Something about the brusque blue and black flowers

that decorated the purple bonnet,

the painted red cheeks

and the squinting eyes

that smiled dully at me,

was distinctly

brave.

A knight with armour

that glitters in the afternoon sun,

riding on a tall white horse.

His strong knuckles tighten around curving metal

setting up a double edged blade.

Bravery,

to its simplest form,

in my five year old mind. 

 

A shaking girl

stood in front of a crowd

of sneering faces,

ready to expose the secrets

she holds in her throat,

entwined in the words

she will spin into sounds.

 

Bravery,

A layer thick like leather,

a boldly coloured matryoshka,

in my nineteen year old mind.

 

The dolls in the middle

were the ones that made me think.

Neither beautiful,

nor brave,

yet distinctly something else.

Their small smiles

and yellow dresses,

half closed eyes,

graceful ballet flats.

 

soft footsteps that would crunch

against my grandfather’s carpet,

creating semi-circles that grow bigger

every inch I move with outstretched arms

fluttering like I am a butterfly.

Happy.

A thin layer of grace, 

of confidence, 

of baby pink skin that covers my shoulders

and forms me a ballerina, 

a fairy princess, 

my own middle matryoshka. 

 

The last doll, 

the littlest one

at the core of it all

would be the most boring

yet the most wonderful. 

And as I would hold that heavy grey figurine

in my outstretched palm, I would look at my grandfather, 

pleading with shining eyes: 

“Can we play again?”

 

Wishing I could shove 

the doll that reminded me of myself 

and my secrets 

under the protection of the other dolls, 

My very being

melting back into the happy middle dolls, 

into the brave doll with the high red cheeks, 

into the beautiful doll with the curling flowers. 

All of my layers, 

my matryoshka dolls, 

hiding again.