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“Things you don’t care to know” – Nayana Nair

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You who took so much space in me
you who created stories in me,
put up grand shows of light and shadows in me
you who spent your nights naming every star,
trying to claim my sky-
at the end,
you were too easy to forget.

Or maybe sitting in this world
where everything is yours,
I find it hard to realize your lacking.
Maybe my heart is no longer here with me
to even want you back.

“A Dull Reflection of Hope” – Nayana Nair

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In a dull handheld mirror
that had yet to be broken,
I looked at myself
and realized
that someone is dying inside me.

I didn’t know how to accept this,
so I solved every question in my math textbook.
I learned to eat more and sleep late.
Stared at my wrist for hours.
Pretended to sleep fearing questions.
Tried a bit of every sin
and waited around to be damned.

I felt a constant urge to break someone
so this world could be little less happier.
But death claimed my heart
before I could do that.
So now I write “love” on your tongue
without knowing what it means.

“Another Birdless Cage” – Nayana Nair

please don’t ask me how my friend is doing.
we broke up.
we broke up the most decent way friends can break up.
without deceit, without betrayal,
without cruel words or bloody knife on our backs,
without stories to hurt each other with,
without attempts to patch up things,
without deleting each other’s number that we never bothered to memorize.
i do not remember her till someone says her name
and when the sound of her name finds me through a stranger’s lips,
i do not feel bitterness. i not miss her.
a part of my heart is glad that life didn’t turn her my enemy
but a part of me wonders how she turned out to be nothing in my life.
when i see facebook notifications with her name,
when i get a reminder of her birthday,
when she calls me up once in a blue moon
to ask a favor for “her friend”
without bothering to ask how i have been,
what is it that am i supposed to feel?
i think it should hurt in some way.
i am waiting for it to hurt.
i am waiting to realize the meaning of this loss.
i am waiting for the day I miss her.
i want to miss her so much.

“ugliness of my words” – Nayana Nair

As they casually made a remark
about my incompetence,
I found I hated them more than I should.
Even if all their words were true,
even though I was lacking.
I wanted them to speak well of me.
Not only speak well of me
but to think well of me.

I never realized
that they loved everything I pretended to be
and mocked everything I truly was.
I thought they would
see past the ugliness of my words
and understand how much I struggled to be myself.
Did I want too much?

As they leave for the day, I smile.
Try my best to be the fake that they love so much,
try my best to never be myself.
As they leave,
as my heart tries not to break,
I ask myself,
how long?
How long can I love someone
who never saw anything in me worth loving?

“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“Laughing it off” – Nayana Nair

I jokingly said that I would hate it
to be someone else-
someone who would have to suffer me.
But before my face realizes what my heart meant,
where it becomes apparent in my eyes
that I am nowhere near recovery,
before I panic at being taken seriously,
someone cuts me off
with laughter,
with agreement,
with proofs supporting my observation,
with a list of my faults I may have missed,
with an funny anecdote about
about the time I was too broken to think straight.

-x-

I wish I had not broken into laughter when I put myself down.
I wish ‘laughing it away’ was a trick that worked in my life.
I was never mistaken that ‘tricks’
changes reality, builds back and heals
all that is in pieces and all that is in pain.
It’s just a way to turn blind to what I cannot change.
But walking blind is worse than I had thought.
I keep colliding with harmless words, bruise myself,
and recoil back in the fear of what I may find
if I took a step forward.

“Reflections in Failure” – Nayana Nair

I realized in my failures
that I was not nearly as good as I thought I was
and whatever I am was not worth that much
at least not in my own eyes.

And nothing I did could change anything
unless I could see the significance
of what I am and what I do.

I worked hard.
I lost sleep.
But my efforts to become worthy of my dream
turned out to be too less.
I turned out to be too less.

But somehow I was relieved to see
that even when I was empty-handed
I knew how to find my way to the beginnings
and start again.
So I couldn’t pity myself in that moment
but feel almost an admiration for this person
who didn’t know how to give up.

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