Just a cat

I’m just a kitten to you, aren’t I?
I’ve been so proud of my claws and fangs
I forgot that I’m still something small
That looks fluffy and adorable to you,
But you could grab the scruff of my neck,
Pick me up and throw me across the room
If I ever sank those tiny claws too much.
I forgot you were just indulging me
While I purred what I thought were roars,
And batted so viciously at things
That you had made sure in advance
Could never strike back at me.
I forgot that for all my ‘hunting’ skill
I come back to the bowl you fill for me,
And rub against your legs for attention.
I just forgot. I’ve grown, indeed,
From the little ball of fur you first saw
To something that does have fangs.
But I think my eyes only grew now
Because I just realized what I am.
A Bengal – but the cat, not the tiger.
You were the latter. I looked at you
And let the similarities fool me,
Believed my spots to be the real deal
And thought myself already a leopard.
But that’s ok. I’m still growing.
You never know what I’ll end up becoming.
Or maybe I’ll become wiser instead,
And learn to purr and look adorable
Before I launch straight for the eyes
Of those who I fool into approaching.
I only mustn’t forget that I’m just a cat.

Good for you

The warmth grows with the flush,
Spreading down to your core
And it should be uncomfortable
But it’s a bit like getting a hug,
You forget for a moment
That you need your blanket
And to burrow in its dark security.
The liquid should sting maybe,
But you actually revel in the water,
Its steady flow calming
And the cold air on your wet face
Is a soothing kind of meditation.
And you moan and gasp for breath
But there’s words beneath there,
And it’s the first time in forever
That you actually let them out,
And their release more than makes up
For the pain of their escape.
We are conditioned to avoid pain,
But it’s tiring to keep pushing down,
The pressure steadily increasing.
Every once in a while,
It might be good to let yourself fall
To the depths of your personal abyss,
Get reacquainted with what lives there,
And after you understand them,
Make order from within.

Sometimes, crying is good for you.

A kind spirit

Do you think you could judge genies like humans?

Do you think they would be powerful? Intelligent?

Surely they need power to turn wishes true.

But then again, if they’re so skilled,

How could a mere lamp keep them chained?

Do you think they would be bad?

So many creatures turn wishes against you,

And you need the protection of exact phrasings.

Do you think they resent their deal with you,

Their imposed servitude? Maybe they’re bored.

Maybe it’s in their ‘terms and conditions’,

And that’s just how they operate,

Good little machines with nothing to say.

Or maybe, just maybe, they are indeed evil.

But I don’t know. I don’t buy it.

There are so many different legends,

Genies, and witches, elves and talking fish,

Creatures of unimaginable power,

And out of any occupation in the world,

They spend their immortal lives

Asking favours from humans in exchange for wishes.

What if. They never needed the help.

What if. Some of them weren’t just bored.

What if that creature that stories taught you

To be so terribly wary and afraid of

Is nothing more than a kind spirit.

Maybe they stuff themselves in those lamps,

Place themselves on your fishing hooks,

Twist their legs intentionally in your path.

Maybe they just desperately want to help,

And some universal law says they can’t,

Says they would tip the balances too much

Were they to share their power freely.

Maybe they can only do it as exchanges,

And they silently beg you to be a good person,

And they cringe and regret when you’re not,

When you get greedy or botch up the terms.

Maybe they’re all just kind spirits.

Wouldn’t that make quite a difference?

……………………………..

But then again, maybe they’re not,

And they look for a reason to eat you for dinner.

My life is better for having met you

I was hiding in a little room,

In a land that spoke in strange tongues.

You extended a hand, dragged me to light,

And taught me those new, twisted words,

Not by bringing in scholars or masters.

You just spoke soft enough, slow enough,

That I saw them in a different way,

And finally stopped being afraid.

The mirror was showing me such monsters.

Before you, I never realized that

It was actually only broken.

You didn’t tell me that, but I saw you

Looking into it once, and you

Angled yourself in such a strange way,

Something I never saw anybody do.

So I tried the same, and I found

The little smooth part of the glass,

And suddenly I was beautiful too.

You never changed anything,

But that didn’t stop you

From changing everything for me.

You never did anything,

But that didn’t stop things

From happening to me anyway.

You don’t have to have done something.

It’s just the way you are,

And what I understood of what you are,

And just a whole lot of luck in between.

So through no fault of your own,

My life is better for having met you.

Thank you. For your simple existence.

Only joking

Words spoken at the limit between joke and truth,
So many things that can be told in jest.
Maybe I go too often for that particular excuse,
The fast, convenient defence of ‘I’m joking’.
But don’t judge me. I’m really not lying
Because, you see, all the truths I have to say
Are too heavy to carry around all the time
So I make them buoyant and light with a twist,
And shed my expectations of them away.
But don’t misunderstand. Every single word
That leaves my lips has been considered,
And even the most ridiculous proposals
Have a clearly-defined seed of pure truth.
It’s so much easier to say the things you need
When only a slight inflection of your voice
Makes sure that no one ever believes
Or comes to poke holes to your realities.
But never take that bet with me, love,
I will stand behind each and every one of my words
Because underneath that convenient facade
I mean everything I’ve ever joked about.

Open book

Sure, you’re an open book
Crypted thrice over
In a language no one but you knows.

Sure, you’re completely transparent
The same way the ocean is
So you only see inches below the surface.

Sure, everything is crystal-clear
The refracting kind of crystal
So you find anything but its depths.

Sure, you can say you’re simple
Like quantum physics is
But only before you learn basic algebra.

You’re right about one thing though.
You’re impressively naive,
If you think I’d be naive enough
To fall for any of that.
You better watch out, love.
You’ll be in a world of trouble
The second I break your code.

Obsession

It’s said that all creative minds
Entertain multiple representations of all things –
That’s the only way to give birth to unique perspectives,
Having random things bubble and mix and blow up
In an array of colours and metaphors.
The minds of artists have voices recounting truths, realities,
That their imagination then compounds on, shoots out from,
In ever more complicated fantasies.
There are also voices whose sole purpose is to keep track
Of which voice does what, of inner workings, and make sure that
Fantasies land on paper, in stories, paintings, sculptures,
And they don’t interfere with function in the real world.
There are times, however, when the real world is ugly,
So you tighten the fantasies around you,
Breathe them in, burrow in their warmth and security,
And shut down the voices telling you it’s wrong.
It might be surprising, that something as slippery as obsession
Starts with a conscious decision. But it does.
Like going down a slide, you need an impulse to get it started.
You need to choose to shut down the realities,
And you ignore that aching awareness sounding an alarm.
You pick and choose. You only hear the nice fantasies.
And, with no other raw material, your mind doubles them up,
Compounds on them instead of tempering them down.
It becomes a self-fulfilling spiral of quicksand,
Creating just enough satisfaction by its mere existence
To keep itself going. It’s overwhelmingly much,
Yet it’s achingly little, making you throw yourself desperately
Over unrealistic things, trying to soothe the growing need.
It’s painful, yet when the world delivers, my…
There’s no bliss quite as strong as feeling the worlds collide,
Sending the shock waves of the contact down your soul.
So you throw yourself harder down the next spiral.
It’s just a mistake, you see. A coping mechanism gone wrong
Though can you even claim it is wrong if it does its job?
Because it does tie you over the rough patch,
Your mind so full with your fantasies it’s numb to pain.
Sometimes, when you’re paying enough attention to the process
You can even trick it into becoming an absurd motivation
That walks you up the hill you so happily slid down before.
And when you’re strong enough, you can always disengage,
Get to your feet, breathe out the quicksand,
Shake the clingy bits of obsessions off you
And convince yourself you’ve got everything handled.
This, of course, until the next long stairway
To the bottom of the ravine we call life…
When you are more than happy to push yourself down the next slide.

Naked

She’s not a person you’d look at twice,
Were you to glimpse her going down the street.
It’s only her eyes that are dangerous,
And what happens when you strip her naked,
Letting the wild soul underneath breathe.
She’s fearless in only her skin,
The clothes a role too small for her to fit.
Her skin fits her not like a tailored suit,
Not something beautiful you’re afraid to spoil,
But like the things that grow with you
Until they become soft and comfortable,
That stretch to contain your curves
And toughen around your sharp edges.
She’s the kind of creature for whom
The clothes, the rules, the world,
Are an unwelcome constraint she can do without.
Anybody would, when they are so unnecessary.
She needs nothing other than herself –
She needs no weapons. She is a weapon,
Forged in the fire of a thousand suns.
She needs no cover. The universe is her cover,
Human eyes too feeble to perceive her.
She’s the kind of woman in whose arms you go
Looking for the meaning of God,
But remain for having found a goddess instead.
Don’t be fooled. Her hips are a beautiful lure,
The arms around you springing a hidden trap,
The lips honeyed only to hide the poison.
You can bleed to death cut on her sharp tongue,
And even worse on her sharper mind.
It’s a relief she’s this mythical creature
Only when her skin and soul are bare.
You’re safe if only you don’t look then
In the beautiful abyss of her hypnotic eyes.
So what are you waiting for? We both know
You can’t wait to see her naked soul.

Makeup

There are so many people out there telling girls
That they should wipe the makeup off and be ‘natural’.
Almost as many as those who look me in the eye
And ask me why I don’t wear makeup more often.
But the thing is, you form impressions about people
Within seconds of first meeting them,
And I’ve seen people focus way too often
On the colour of the lip gloss when you wear it;
On the shade of the eyeshadow when you put it on –
They only realize there’s a smile underneath,
They only notice if the eyes crinkle at the corners
When you leave everything else bare
And don’t give their gaze any other hold.
I want to be that sincere, imperfect smile,
Rather than a gorgeous, ravishing mask.
I want to be a pretty… amazing person,
I want to be a beautiful…ly written story,
I want the alluring part about me to be my personality,
The delightful part, my conversations,
The dazzling part, my intelligence.
I would rather have people look at me in surprise
When I do take the time to put makeup on,
Than have them baffled when I take it off.
It’s a choice, and I’m aware mine is the odd one,
But if you don’t care to see the beauty of who I am,
It’s a waste of both of our times to get caught up
In painting an illusion on my face only.
So go and find your wide-eyed blushing maiden
While I leave my cheeks naked and make up my soul.

How, When, Why

I had time to think, and came up with some questions.
I realized I want to know HOW.
How did your smile become so special to me?
How did my smile come to rely on your presence?
How did you turn from passing amusement to the locus of my tranquility?
I realized I want to know WHEN.
When did it all happen?
Was it when you made my brain go into overdrive looking for your answers?
Was it when you first made me laugh so hard I was crying?
Was it when you just looked and saw me for who I am?
I realized I want to know WHY.
Why did you have to be so much of what I needed?
Why do you want to make this so little of what I want?
Why… why you?

There are other questions, of course.
But I know better than to asks questions
That I don’t want to hear the answers to.
I don’t want to know WHO.
Whether it’s who you really are, or a person I’m making up.
I don’t want to know WHAT.
Whether it’s love, passion, fantasy, or none of the above.
I don’t want to know HOW FAST.
Whether it was so gradual it snuck up on me
Or so fast it exploded and erased the ‘before’ from existence.
And most importantly,
I don’t want to know HOW MUCH.
How deep, how mad, how all-encompassing this has become.
Whether I’m still holding onto some rational thought
Or if my heart has already run away, cuddling at your feet,
Begging to be broken for just one touch, one taste.

I don’t want the answers to those questions.
I don’t want to know how wrong I am in what I think reality is.
So I’ll just stick with HOW,
I’ll just stick with WHEN,
And I’ll just stick with WHY.