Simple, wrong solution

There’s one thing worse than a problem with no solution –
There could always be a simple, wrong solution.

We know not to go grabbing strangers on the street,
But when someone’s already holding your hand,
Nobody teaches you the effort of not curling your fingers in
And clinging to that unexpected lifeline.
Nobody tells you about the pain
Of drowning, mouth closed, while dying of thirst.
Nobody quite understands, until they suddenly do,
How it is to have no refuge from the darkness.
You go running in your house and barricade the door;
It’s not quite that my problem already lives inside,
But that I have to open the door and invite it in
Day, after day, after day.
And I’m not sure if I’m instead waving my sanity goodbye,
But I guess that only leaves more space for guests
So won’t you join us for dinner?

Because you’re special

We come up with a thousand reasons

To explain to people why they are special.

We like talking about their beauty,

Both inside and out, those luminous eyes

And kind smiles. We talk about

The things that they do, the achievements,

And the troubles they’ve stayed out of.

We talk about things that

They hold no merit for, that just happened,

Like the family they were born into.

And it helps. For a while.

But rarely do we realize the conditions

That we imply to exist. Our talking

Implies that their uniqueness disappears

Over years when their beauty fades,

When their abilities fail, or in places

In which their background is irrelevant.

Everybody thinks it at the back of their mind.

That’s why we hang onto things,

Onto easy, comfortable, known stuff,

That’s why we identify ourselves with things

That should be just a passing stage.

We don’t allow ourselves to become more.

But we can change that. You can change it.

Instead of thinking of the things

Because of which you’re special,

Try to consider, just once, the things

That you can do. Because you’re special.

Above and beyond any happy, misguided reason.

With a sharp mind

You could open that door with a key.

You could avoid a confrontation if you flee.

You could make her fall for you with a rose.

You could see opportunities by being on your toes.

You could escape that situation with a bluff.

You could ace the test if you study enough.

You could earn your spot with plenty hard work.

You could be liked if you stop being a jerk.

You could win anything you want with luck.

You could buy your way in if you pay a nice buck.

… or you could do it all with a sharp mind –

An indispesable thing, a Swiss knife of a kind.

You may not even need anything else but it,

But it will always serve you, even with kit.

You don’t look like much, and you don’t have things,

But with a sharp mind, you’ve got more than kings.

Anxious optimism

I’m an anxious optimist –
I’m the embodiment of
‘Hope for the best,
Prepare for the worst’.
I get to believe the best of people
And still be awed and surprised
When things go beautifully
And the world proves me right.
It makes me rediscover goodness
Daily, at times, and feeds back
Into that spiral of optimism,
With just a twinge of worry
That it can’t possibly happen again,
That it needs to peak
And go down sometime.
But that thought brings it down
Just enough to ensure
It never actually happens.
And if it does, of course
That’s what the optimism is for.

The 6 stages

There are six stages that I can tell.
Not sure what to call the first but an S –
A Slip, a Slide, or maybe
A Slow descent for some, sometime.
Then comes I for Ignore, when
It’s not that we pretend nothing is wrong
But genuinely ignore the simple possibility
That something might be amiss and go.
The third is the Acknowledgement,
A sweet momentary relief, not unlike
Being moody for a few long days
Until you have that Ah moment and realize
What time of the month it is,
And don’t feel quite so absurd anymore.
And in the rare lucky cases,
It also provides a solution to the pain,
In the same chocolate-y form.
The relief doesn’t last long enough though,
And on its heels comes swift Revolt,
A raging at the world and desperate search
For the misplaced cure that you once used.
It’s at least better than the
Blind stumble into disaster without cause,
And blaming someone gives you something to do.
Then comes Acceptance. Sweet and peaceful
As you remember the cure is only time,
And you finally allow it to yourself,
And instead of fixing things
You find make-do solutions
And relearn to work with what you have,
With a shorter fuse, an emptier canister
And only ever one day at a time.
I never managed to pinpoint Recovery
Despite its most obvious existence.
It’s impossibly gradual and fast at once,
And one day you just realize
That you look back and see yourself
At the top of that abysmally long trek up
And your smiles come easy once again.
That’s the process for me. S-I-A-R-A-R.
‘Seerer’, I suppose, it could be pronounced.
Not the most inspired acronym perhaps
But then again, maybe it was meant to be,
Because you need more seer(-er) powers
Than any possible oracle in mythology
To even remember there is ever an end
When you’re in the throes of that descent.

 

A/N: Some of you might have noticed lately from the subjects of my poems I seemed a bit down. I’m happy to say I’ve had a very quick A-R-A ark and am now much better. Thank you so much for your support and for always reading and commenting despite my changing moods. Love you all.

What do you guys think? Ever gone through this? Are your recovery stages the same when you go through a darker period, or are you doing things differently?

Flat

Empty fields
Waveless ocean
Blank pages
Concrete walls
Straight paths
Frozen pictures
Monotone
Uniform shadow
Deserted roads
Metal sheets
Closed windows
Undisturbed dust
Barricade
Glassy eyes
Winter skies
Drawn curtains
Endless

There’s nothing I hate more than flatness

I need a friend

There are days when I really need a friend.
I need a friend who would show up at my door
With a pint of creamy icecream
And a tray of cookies just to be sure
Because he heard the inflection in my voice
And knows not to believe a word I say.
Who wouldn’t mind choosing the movie
And letting me rest my head in his lap,
Who would make me laugh myself silly
And choke on the cookies and tea.
Who I could kiss at that particular scene
And in whose eyes I wouldn’t fear looking
As we marvel at how meaningless it is,
And how the meaninglessness can mean
Quite so much for healing my heart.
I need a friend who would chuckle
When I start crying at that stupid ending
But would have no hesitation to hold me
When the tears start becoming the real thing
And I get to finally feel some relief
As I soak it all in his shirt and warm arms.
I need a friend who would force me up
Put me on wheels and push me down the street,
Raise my heart rate so artificially
Until I remember how to form excitement
That doesn’t depend on people staring,
Looking at both of us like we are crazy.
But in the meanwhile, being crazy in two
Is the best kind of crazy someone can be.
Could you please be my friend?

Tired

You’re just tired.
You used it to explain a thousand things,
A quiet, ashamed apology for your mood.
And people accept it. Sometimes.
Once or twice, and they have dubious looks.
They don’t understand how honest you are,
That those are your truest words in a while.
You’re tired. You’re so tired
That sleeping 20 hours straight
Just leaves you yawning in the afternoon
With a slight dread to go to bed
Because you know how much time you wasted.
You’re so tired that all things look bleak,
Tasteless, colourless, fundamentally untempting
And motivation comes only from stubborness,
And you run on ‘it’s going to be over soon’
Long after you forgot what the ‘it’ is
And what is supposed to come after.
You’re so tired that spending more energy
Somehow becomes the less effortful choice,
So you run instead of walk, laugh instead of smile
For the simple reason that you don’t know
The formula for the true thing anymore
And simple things reveal wrongs too easily.
You’re tired. You’re so tired
That you forget you’ve been through it before,
And you forget that you know how it ended
And that you know how to be kind to yourself
And give yourself a hand up and a break
Because there are pills to take against the pain
But fractures still have their own timeline
And neither bones nor hormones listen to man.
You’re just tired.

Glass Walls

I might have driven my mind crazy.
A lifetime of insecurities
Is screaming in my ear to panic,
It’s screaming that I’m lost, alone,
That I am not good enough.
And for the first time in my life,
It’s probably right, I’m probably not;
And for the first time in my life,
I’m tuning it out and minding my way,
because this is non-negociable.
This is what I want my life to be,
And I’ll be damned if I cower.
But I’ve skipped a couple hundred steps –
I’m someone who learns to persevere
In the very first situation
In which things don’t magically appear.
I’ve never had to work at all,
And now I have to work hard.
And my mind is desperately telling me
That I can’t, that I won’t,
And I see her lips moving
Through the glass walls
Of the prison I put it behind.
It’s a strange disconnection,
But it’s relieving, buoying…
It’s just a shame the feeling escapes me,
Since the thing that was supposed
To relay it to me in the first place
Is stuck behind glass walls
And otherwise preoccupied.

 

(image: Simon Heijdens exhibit)

Virtues of desperation

There are such virtuous people,
Far more than the rest of us,
Yet their light so easily hidden
Under a layer of perceived sin.
But who are we to judge when we don’t know
The touch and taste of their circumstances?
They may be showing the world
Something different than we think we see.

They may be showing the prudence of anxiety,
And be planning ahead for a future
They see so dark and stormy,
It might as well not exist at all.

They may be showing the justice of impulsivity,
For there’s a good and a bad way
In which justice should be blind,
And for them, all the things they can weigh
Are the judgments of seconds instead of years.

They may be showing the fortitude of apathy.
Let’s not forget there are people for whom
Merely lifting themselves up would mean
Travelling a far greater distance
Than others go to encircle a globe.

They may be showing the temperance of obsession,
When a single second of separation
Claws blood from the skin of their soul,
And limits cut into them like barbed wire,
Yet they still force steps through the thorns.

They may be showing the faith of depression,
For we all agree proof cancels the need for faith,
Yet we all trust in the existence of light
While being surrounded by glorious flames,
And judge them for struggling to see it
With their eyes closed against darkness.

They may be showing the hope of insecurity,
After being conditioned a lifetime
To the idea that they are undeserving,
And hope itself is overstepping their bounds.

They may be showing the charity of compulsion,
And the things they give freely are not,
Like for the rest of us, mere triffles,
But bloody chunks of their own beings.

They may be showing the world
Things that can only be understood
When you know both halves of the story,
Virtues of hardship and desperation.
People forget that qualities
Are not things to judge others on,
But things to mould themselves by,
For our stories are the only ones
Any of us have any right to.
So let’s judge ourselves for a change
And assume everyone else is virtuous.