Melancholia

I fall to pieces in the sweetest way possible.

The silence encompasses all melodies to my saline solicitude.

The calm a still lake swallowing all sound.

Mist, white like lilies, rising from the surface, hiding the imperfect.

White like lilies, white like snow.

Sweet like melancholy, bitter like nostalgia.

The fog lulls me in, tickling my skin, holding me in its embrace.

I pause.

The light fades as I plunge into the deeply tainted silk.

Layer after layer, carmine fades to byzantium to smoke

Blotched by ink, heavy as my heart, lazily, slowly sinking

and sinking

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Youth

We sip morning coffees as the world is flying past, stumbling through the first few pages of our autobiography. We have walked these streets and turned these corners a thousand times, but there are millions to come. We talk about future the way we hear others talk about their past, dreamily and pieced together, the pages blurring, rewritten by the present. Like fairy tales we utter our memories to come over and over, redrafting and advertising them with such conviction, as if we are the only authors. Daydreams of happiness and fame, of days at the sea, acceptance speeches and baby showers. They wash over us and comfort our solitude and our uncertainty with half-truths and what ifs. But we are young. When is the time to dream, if not now? When do we plot maps to the unreachable unknown and write our acceptance speech and organise our evolution? If not now? When nothing is certain, everything is possible. I could be an astronaut or a queen or journalist. I could travel the world or change it. Let us dream our improbable dreams until we shoot for our impossible goals. We might not land on the moon, but at least we saw the stars.

A bedtime story for my sister

Once upon a time there was a little girl who played with the wolves. In deep, dark nights she ran out into the forest, bare feet skipping in spiraling snow, to tell them of her life. Stories of family and teddy bears, of hot milk and warm hugs and bedtime stories, of flickering candles and fairies kissing her nose. She spoke of wonders and magic in the simplest things, only seen by a child, and the wolves were in awe. Night after night they would sit and listen to her speak of her world and until the snow was caressed by gold. And the wolf princess grew, and with each day, she discovered more and more beautiful things, enchanted with the world. Now, many people say that when one grows up, the magic fades away for logic to take its place. But as the wolf princess grew tall and beautiful, and more in love with the world than she had ever been. She welcomed logic for the miracle it was and saw wonders in the simplest things. Still the wolf princess, now a queen, told the wolves her stories, of fights and fairies and snow, but as she had grown up, they had grown old. Tired and gray they didn’t care for her tales, but they did care for her and night after night gathered around her in the snow. Under shadowy trees dripping with shadow and night, she stood tall and strong. The stories that had once been so much bigger than her had become her song.

Chapter 1

I wake up with shreds of a melody still whispering in my head. It’s mesmerizing; slow and nuanced,  softly calling out for me to capture it somehow. I jump up – hit my head – and, rubbing my forehead, run to the pencil and paper I keep on my desk. Just in case I remember the music I dream of. Other people write down visions and messages from whatever higher power they believe in – I scribble music notes on hastily drawn staves, grasping for the echos of melodies. The last note escapes me, slipping away the way most dreams eventually do. So I grab a towel, put on a concerto by Tchaikovsky and go take a shower. When I’m back, the quiet music will have reached my favourite part. It’s 4am and as always, there’s no way I’m gonna fall asleep again.

When my mother finally wakes up, with messy hair and her eyes on book that’s probably older than me, I’ve made coffee, tidied my room, and jotted down a couple of lines of an unconvincing violin piece. Mom smiles as she finds the coffee I’ve left on the table for her, somehow managing to kiss me on the forehead, which feels as though it’s hit with a baseball bat, and sip her coffee at the same time. Later, on the school bus, my eyes flutter closed, a painful reminder of the sleep I’m losing. I’m abruptly jerked awake as the bus stops in front of my school. Kids hurry towards the door as if their life depends on it, kicking and knocking each other down. The bus driver shouts an exasperated “slowly everyone!” and they calm down almost unwillingly and continue to make their way towards the big ugly building slapped in the middle of a neighbourhood so suburban, it seems satirical. 

Diary entry #1

Writing is beautiful. Sitting on a window sill on sunday mornings with a cup of coffee as  raindrops race the cold inches from my face. The calm and quiet in my mind, slowly filling the room with words and stories, breathing all around me, reshaping the world into something enchanting. A ray of sunshine that falls on my face. These are the mornings that I love the most, because they feel so much longer than they really are; the way that, when reading a book, whole worlds, empires can rise and collapse in a couple of minutes..

But I want more than these mornings. I want to keep the things I write on more than crumpled pages ripped out of notebooks, soon to be stuffed into the bottom of my desk drawer and forgotten. I want a record of my works, someplace I can add lines and layers in pen and pencil and ink, until they paint the picture I’m trying to capture. Too often do I move on before I am done.

So I’m shaping my own little library. I’ll fill it up with stories; anecdotes and character studies, and maybe a novel or two one day. Snapshots of my life and little piles of memories. Secret hopes and crumpled dreams. Until the air around me is full not only with stories, but the smell of books. One day.

Ashes

Ash, still hot, sizzles in the rain.
Last kisses burned in lifeless form.
Drops like dagger carve my pain
Through granite chiseled by the storm.

Time dug our love into the soil,
Turned flower beds to salt and dust,
Told corporate lies of gold and oil
Whilst our hearts felt only rust.