A Letter to My Future Daughter

Don’t hide behind a hashtag. Be the change you want to see. Support your fellow women. Believe them when they tell you a man you know has molested them. Don’t belittle them in response. Don’t tell them that’s just how it is. Don’t be a silent victim, speak up if you have been harassed. Teach your children to have self-respect and voices of their own. Raise your sons to be feminists and your daughters to be respectful to them in return. Don’t expect women to be better than men. We are not. We are just as flawed. Don’t call yourself goddess or a queen. We are all humans. Just imagine if men called themselves gods and kings. Don’t call other women bitches just because they disagree with you. Don’t sell yourself short for a relationship. Don’t objectify other women or reduce them to their looks. As an artist, create the content that you miss. Write female leads without abuse. Don’t tell their stories in relation to a man but let them be strong for themselves. Don’t support violence. Don’t promote, condone or further it on stage or screen. Don’t be a part of what in real life you oppose. Take responsibility for your actions. Simply practice what you preach.

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Sunday Stroll

20°, the sun unusually strong for a day in mid October. A woman leans against a tree, her feet bare on the grass still luscious green. Her bike right next to her, her head buried in a book – she makes me pause. A group of seniors playing cards on a stump. Fallen trees all around them like wooden corpses as the last remnants of a storm so heavy it knocked out an entire city for a day. Unusual for us. I look at them, the splinters, bark and branches. They make me sad. All those golden crowns depleted on the ground, the random specks of red like drops of blood. My park was wounded badly, I can see that now. And every tree that lost its grip with roots too weak to withstand a tempest on muddy ground slows my steps and makes my heart cry out. How vile that force of nature, a tantrum really, sudden, crass. Such a reflection of my year or less self-centered: the world at large. That’s why the woman sitting by the tree caught my attention. Engulfed still by her story, she oozes calm.

Phansanity

and there it is again, that craving
for a stage, a mask, a line
after all those years not fading
just numbed perhaps for a little while
when the dreamer’s lost her courage
her heart broken one too many times
and the beast of sanity felt nourished
by faking hunger for a normal life

Morning Treats

Across from me on the train sat a large man of Greek descent or so at least my guess, his middle-age bordering the old, his eyes warm and friendly. His arm full of roses, their colour pink and so intense they rivaled the beauty of a sunrise half-hidden in a cloud-cluttered sky. Next to him a woman, her skin mocha smooth, her red-rimed glasses giving her an air of quirky elegance. And as we exchanged a smile over flowers displayed to us in such magnificence, her eyes lit up infecting mine. It was a smile I carried with me on my way to work as I poked along, past worker bees and office ants and parents in a rush tugging at their children’s nerves, always ready to be the first ones at their daily crosswalk, bakery or coffee shop. I shrugged them off, their rage mild today, unfeasible somehow with the sun still lurking behind some sleepy clouds. So when I reached my morning hangout, my mood was balanced, frolic even – minus the fatigue I cannot shake without my first hot chocolate of the day. So I placed my order and my favorite waiter met my smile, then brightened it by knowing exactly what I wanted. “Almond milk, an espresso and a croissant,” he beamed, “Early morning order. Busy day.” I nodded. “And with a start like today, I don’t mind one bit.”

Lit

I’ve always been the intellectual type
with a slight touch of squee
but all I see these days are swaying hips
and my heart skips a beat
not for some strange allure or sass
but for the memory of you
and the future that I longed to have
when my mind met yours
and with one look you lit my soul

Untitled

Hope is a glass half full wishing for a refill while being trapped in an entity that’s easily broken, its shattered remnants piercing your heart with fragments of dreams long crushed, scarring your soul if you don’t find the essence of your one true love.

Seagull

I hear a seagull laughing in the sky as it passes by my window and instinctively I turn around to share my amazement with you, but you’re not there of course. I often feel your presence like this, see things I’d love to show you, details I know you would appreciate. But then I remember, you are not part of my life the way I wish you were and yet you’re always there. It’s that kind of madness that drives me out of my mind, an ambiguity laced with longing, palsy and desire. I close my eyes just for a moment, my heart taking me back to us first sharing an honest smile, a joke, a laugh. It sent a jolt through my body then, made me quake. I was so unprepared for how you made me feel, so at ease and yet so tense, reminding me of everything I wanted and everything I missed. It was then that I realized what an emotional wreck I had been and without knowing it, you told me why and showed me a way to be true to myself again.

Dreamers

There they are again, my tears
not flowing freely but still there
they don’t engulf me anymore
but leave me saddened, deeply so
another opportunity unanswered
another blow
and all I want is smile at you in silence
feel your arms embracing me
our bitterness unspoken
we both know it all too well
the hope and setbacks and frustration
the inability to just let go
of dreams so deeply nestled in our fabric
the main ingredient of our souls