eight letters to you : viii

people are oceans, you once told me,
windblown and battered by storm driven winds,
broken hands reaching the distance between shores,
hearts as restless and wild as the waves,
always returning to the place it had once left behind.


a single glance across a crowded room,
and a sniper drew a bead on your heart
and sent flames raging through your chest,
but your next breath was of ice water 
and there you drowned, tied to a memory
that still leaves you breathless.


maybe, just maybe that first glance was
the beginning of a thousand endings
and a million unspoken words,
and maybe now, with your head under the waves
you'll feel like you can finally take your
first deep breath in years.


the words 'maybe' and 'someday' are always
inseparably linked, as if twelve letters
somehow became the entirety of our future,
as if what we are now is erased in the waves
of what we might someday (never) become.


but then, perhaps, the essence of us
is wrapped around those two words,
and maybe someday we'll move past the walls
we've built around ourselves and each other,
and maybe, someday, we'll realize that life
is about loving, rather than longing.


you said that people are oceans,
but even we are not nearly as powerful as we
would have others believe.
driftwood is stamped across our palms,
and we are rising and falling amidst
angry waves that forgot what they were
raging about years ago.


we're in the shallows, but you are (still) drowning,
choking on the saltwater flooding your veins,
gasping for the oxygen just out of your reach,
even though there is a lifeline at your fingertips.
you must understand that we are all broken, but
it is impossible to save someone who wants to drown.


and i will not drown with you.


( may 25th, 10:02 p.m.), mikailah autumn


there's a story in this, edition 3 // fragmented pieces

once, there were pieces of her heart scattered around, fragments left in nooks and crannies, in the branches of towering trees and beneath the pebbles of the riverbed that whispered her to sleep every night since she was three years old.

there were places she had kept secret, places only she knew about, places a thousand people walked through and no had ever seen. and, perhaps, she was only waiting to share a piece of herself with someone who would hold it with the same tender appreciation that she did.

no one came.
and still, she waited.

over the years, a few people followed her wandering footprints, and found the places where she had left herself, until, at last, the fragments were buried far away from the sunlight to protect her heart.

"my stories are my own," she said, "where i keep them is my home, and mine alone," and no one had the heart to tell her that you can't own a patch of sunshine, a thatch of forest or the ripples in the water anymore than you can chain the soul of an ocean or control the wings of a bird in flight, no matter how much you may love it.

patiently, she waited for someone, 15 years passed, and one day, he found her in a patch of sunlight, protected by a wall of trees, surrounded by a thousand crumbling footprints and fading dreams. and with a smile, a wistful glance, a silent plea for him to see, he became a part of her world and she, his.

over time, she showed him the places that held all her memories, and he collected pieces of her from the leafy branches and the pools of flowing water and the tender buds that bloomed two weeks of the year and crumbled for fifty until he glued her heart into one piece and reluctantly accepted it from her fragile grasp.

"you do not have to own things to love them," he told her, cradling the shattered fragments in his hands, "you cannot hold onto things out of fear of losing them. all you can do is love them while they are there for you to love."

but all she said was, "then love me while i am here," and so, he held her heart in his hands until the years began to merge together and he began leaving pieces of himself scattered in the places he had once found her; tied to branches and swallowed in the depths of the whispering waters, until, one day, there were only fragments of him left, clinging to her with lengths of fraying thread and unraveling string, and with a whispered, "i loved you," she left crumbling photographs behind in his hand; in the place where she once left her heart.

{"there's a story in this" is an ongoing project that my darling, incredibly talented friend grace of grace's garden walk and i started a good while ago, taking an image from here and writing a bit of fiction or poetry based on the silent story in its depths. you can read her lovely snippets here (one, two and three) and all my posts written for this project, here. xo} 


apologies & glue // poetry

they say her heart was broken once,
by a man with a mouth full of knives, 
a ghost who consumed all that she gave him, 
and then left her behind to chase the skies. 

there are fragmented pieces of her,
scattered across the wet ground,
the crumbling ruins of a lonely spirit, 
proof of a heart once too tightly bound. 

her chest has become a graveyard of shrapnel, 
her hands are lined with invisible wounds,
every beat of her heart is an aching shudder,
echoing with once familiar voices, gone too soon. 

many strangers tried to heal the scars,
but they left hollow footprints in their wake,
because not even they could mend her heart,
all they could do was patch the break. 

she still wears her heart on her sleeve,
and the morning sky is always blue,
but some things broken can never be fixed
with hasty apologies and a little glue.

(apologies and glue, mikailah autumn)

(a bit of poetry, a fog kissed mountain, and memories of shattered words sharper than glass fragments. words possess the power to create or destroy, to repair or break, and a heart is a fragile being; easily broken, inadvertently destroyed. nothing we say can take back the words once spoken, or erase the spiderweb cracks of a broken heart. may we never forget it.)


about today

I keep telling myself that, tomorrow, I'll sit down and write. I keep whispering promises that, soon, I will push past the wall that has risen between my thoughts and my fingers and write something incredibly profound. Something that will halt footsteps, and put a hazy gleam in the eyes that wander across my words. I keep waiting for the relentless tide of poetry and the cascading river of music to return to my mind in a wave, flowing, tingling, through my fingers. I keep waiting for my todays to suddenly be more than what they are.

I keep telling myself to be patient, I keep waiting for it. But here is the truth.

Today was ordinary. Today was okay. Today, I didn't drink enough water, and as a result, had a headache while I was poring over my GED book, squinting, because my glasses prescription is 3 years outdated, and because the contacts I got last year don't work well for me and also because I'm too lazy to put them in everyday. Today, my left knee suddenly decided it was only going to straighten with the accompanying pain that usually follows a long hike, despite the fact that I only walked a mile. (Yesterday.)

Today, I felt like maybe I was rising above the wave of expectations I have raised so far above my head, because, today, I actually accomplished something. It wasn't a mile marker, but it was something, and yet, I can't figure out why I still feel like I'm drowning, flailing in the billows and whirlpools I've created for myself. What was once second nature has become unfamiliar, what I once thought was forever has proved to be sandstone, crumbling under the heavy hand of time and the change that life brings to us all, with or without our consent - and sometimes, even without our knowledge.

Writing has been hard for me lately. My music feels repetitive, as if I am simply playing in circles, forgetting the last composed lines of music until my fingers find the keys again. Those very words - writing has been hard - feel so, so wrong. Writing is the one thing that has always come easily to me, something as natural as that gasping breath that pulls life into your lungs after you come up from under a swell, as familiar as a loved voice reverberating in the shadows of a dream. I bleed onto paper, my soul's blood becoming legible in black ink, becoming tangible, transferring a piece of who I am onto something that can be held in a feather-light grasp.

There is a certain groove my words should fit in, a niche that I discovered after a few thousand struggling sentences, a place where I found comfort, where the words flowed as naturally as a mountain stream in the rocky riverbed where it has always belonged. I am trying to find that again, trying to work through the roadblocks and the discouragement and the weariness that becomes a part of anyone who tries. I am trying to let myself be where I am without feeling like I'm never doing enough, never being enough.

I am trying, learning to be okay with where I am, without settling for stagnancy. Moving forward and learning acceptance and contentedness is a balancing act, but then, I suppose most of life is. Sometimes, there are no wise words to speak, sometimes all songs sound the same, sometimes the faces of those we love only bring us pain, sometimes the most mundane, ordinary day is a process of searching for the missing pieces of a broken puzzle, and realizing that you won't always be able to put it back together. Sometimes, days are just "okay", and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.