The night was still, everything seemed transfixed, as though enchanted. Not a single sound could be heard but the forest was just awakening, brimming with life. The noise of the crickets only deepened the silence that spread among the wild bushes and scattered amid the undergrowth. Yet, scuttling here and there, were creatures of the shadows nestled close together, right beneath the ground. A strong odour, rich with damp, moss and dried leaves rotting untouched, settled heavily in the air like dust left in an ancient room for centuries. Not a breeze blew through the trees, not an extra leaf was shed, the clouds above glided by swiftly. Floating with an agility almost envious. Weightless, fluid, their movements enchanted our little passerby as she looked towards the sky. Her eyes sparkled in the moonlight as she softly kneaded the earth under her feet. Glancing up momentarily, before the white orb got swallowed behind the veil of clouds again. She circled around, tapping her feet lightly, playful, alert, dancing in her own shadows. Her red coat glistened with drops of dew, softly lingering, longing to drip but unwilling to part from her warm fur. Suddenly there was light again, and this time she yearned for that shining white ball up high. She jumped a little and let out a low growl of disappointment when her claws couldn’t reach it. She wanted to capture the moon and play with it, pawing it on the dirty soil, nibbling it and nudging it with her muzzle, sniff its scent so she could find its trail no matter how far it rolled away. Just when she was about to give up, she saw it in front of her, right there, a few inches from her paws. Rippling, tremulous but the same white ball of light indeed. She plunged into the middle of the puddle and grappled with all her might, determined not to let it slip away this time. But the moon scattered into fragments as she looked into her own eyes and stared in disbelief, searching for her lost toy.
Morning light slowly creeps up to your eyes,
Involuntarily closing them shut, indifferent you remain.
The phone keeps ringing on the bedside table,
The slight persistent buzzing noise irritates you.
Pulling the blanket over your face, you guard away the sun.
Disinterested, exhausted, leave me alone, you say.
But desperate and lonely, help me please, you meant.
At the back of your mind, I’m a burden, I’m useless…
Screams of guilt and shame hound you alive, again and again.
Exhausted, there’s no place to hide.
Nowhere to go, to escape that wretched voice.
It takes awhile getting used to that self-loathing.
I know, it’s a constant inner struggle.
It takes even longer to nurture a voice of self-love.
Such a fragile power, the power of love.
Despite every effort, it seems pointless, all in vain.
Don’t tell anyone, the voice keeps repeating,
Don’t listen, ask for help, tiny splinters of your broken heart still insists.
She whispers to you, almost inaudible.
A faint staccato rising softly in the distance.
Let the emotions take you on a spiral,
Feel the pain, cry out loud if you need to,
It’s okay to not be okay, you’re not alone.
It’s okay to need help, you’re not weak.
It’s okay to stop to take a break when you are tired.
It’s okay to tell people you’re depressed.
Trust me, we want to know, I do.
We want to be there for you, it’s true.
If you would only let us see you,
Please come out and show the world your pain.
Tell us where it hurts and how much.
For there is hope in acceptance,
There is courage in confession.
When you step out of the shadow, you’ll see
Myriads of people lined up around you, just like you and me.
Waiting to be seen and heard once again.
If the voice inside our heads become intolerable,
Together we will hold hands and rail against it all night.
If the voice persuades us to keep quiet,
Break the silence we shall, for it’s a trap.
You and I both know, this ends today.
Had enough of the tyrant’s whims, haven’t we?
We don’t want to remain this way, no more.
No longer will we stay unheard, invisible.
We will shout in one voice, louder than the cloud of gloom.
It’s not easy, I know. But we are in it together.
All we ever want is to be hugged and loved.
Is that a lot to ask for? Not anymore, no.
There is no shame in asking for love and understanding.
For it’s okay to not be okay,
None of us are really ever okay.
And that’s alright too, for it makes us who we are, you know.
To not be okay is to break the norm, and
Who doesn’t know how diversity brings beauty.
Let us give others a chance,
Instead of pushing them away,
Let us reach out and meet them halfway.
For it is okay to be not okay.
But it is not okay to suffer alone, my friend.
Because you’re not alone, you’ll see,
As soon as you step out of your own shadow.
I’m here, we’re all here, waiting to hear you speak.
So talk to us friend, whenever you are ready.
You know we are right here, waiting for you.
This poem has been previously published on the Bridge Blog on September 17, 2020. Check out the link to read more about the importance of mental health awareness. Hope starts as a little seed
The riff raffs of the guitar hums in my ears softly, gently lulling me as I sit perched on my window sill for better internet connection. My feet dangling outside, wedged between the rods to keep me from tumbling out. The moon stays hidden behind the clouds, the soft breeze that blows is laden with moisture. The humidity rests heavily around the hills, covering the tips and merging them into a grey shadow beyond. Whether they are clouds or it’s too dark for my eyes to discern, I’m not so sure. Something makes me nostalgic. I can tell the longing, the yearning even as I close my eyes and try to tune out the odd thoughts that flit back and forth, restlessly. It’s like missing something but not quite remembering what you’re missing. An old habit or perhaps a new face, that you had grown accustomed to. Little things, cigarette wrappers and green scrunchies tug at your memories. The craving crawls back like the receding wave crashing ashore again. I reach out for another drag and slightly blow out rings. I’m not good at it and the Os dissolve quickly into the darkness, carried away with the wind. Nights like these seem particularly long and strangely still.