2017, poetry, writing

The Children Are Cactuses

“Darling-”
I tap your shoulder
You start, almost spilling your tea into the sunrise.
“Darling,
The children, they’re-”
The corners of your mouth sag in grim anticipation.
“Darling, the children are cactuses.”

And you must be seeing every corner of the world reflected in that mug,
Because your brow knits
Like it does when I ask you what you believe in.

You set down your tea,
And now it’s my turn to sigh resignedly,
Because I know you.
“Dearest,”
You start,
And my eyes meet yours.
“Are you only just noticing?”

And I intake a breath,
Because I’m about to say something,
Something decidedly profound.

I’m about to say,
“Darling,
Of course not.
Of course I noticed the way their stares hardened in the cold,
Of course I saw their tears dribble onto their cheeks like war paint
For a battle they could never win.
Of course I saw them slowly stop moving,
Like they’re afraid of being seen.
Of course I saw them shrink into the negative space between now and then,
Accepting undignified defeat
At the greedy hands of the universe.

“Darling,
Of course I fucking noticed.”

But that isn’t what I say at all.
Instead,
The breath I drew in
Shudders out of me,
And I crumple like a wet paper bag.

You fold me into your chest,
And you don’t mind that your tea is getting as cold as the world is,
And you don’t mind that my tears are turning your jumper into a Pollock.
And you don’t mind that I can scarcely manage a whisper when I say,
“I want to water them. It seems like the right thing to do.

“But,
Too much water can kill a cactus, you know.”

You squeeze my shoulders tighter then,
And bury your wet eyes in my hair.

And muffled, you murmur,
“If only the world hadn’t cried on them quite so much.”

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2017, life, writing

On Beauty

​Sometimes, when the world holds you down for a while, you forget how beautiful people are.

I saw so many people today, and they reminded me.

I saw someone with piercings, a hooded tank top, and cropped, blue hair. And I thought, this person is beautiful.

I saw three men in business wear, one with a wide green tie, one with his sleeves rolled to the elbow, one with his top button popped open. And I thought, these men are beautiful.

I saw a girl in a hijab the colour of a peach, her eye-liner sharper than a knife, her contour better than anything I’d ever seen. And I thought, this girl is beautiful.

The hope, the empowerment, the subtlety of a smile – these things awakened in me a light, shining on all the wonderful things around me.

And it doesn’t matter if you don’t wear crop tops and high-waisted shorts, or if you do.

And it doesn’t matter if you paint yourself with makeup everyday, sometimes, or never.

And it doesn’t matter if your clothes are made for your gender, or if they’re not.

You exist in a world that tries to hold you down. You shine in the darkness of misplaced hope, of disappointment and frustration. You live a life only you could lead, drawn to things only you can understand.

You, friend, are beautiful.

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2016, humour, life, writing

New Year, Old Me

And so, 2016 is about ready to be flushed down the toilet.

I won’t whinge about how awful it was. You know how awful it was. Everyone knows how awful it was.

I’m not entirely finished being angry about the events of the year, but I am ready to climb into 2017 and dig for gold.

New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for making you feel guilty about your lack of willpower. I do it anyway, because I’m obstinate, but I’m not climbing into a new skin this year like so many try to. My skin is okay with me.

So: resolutions based on renovations, instead of knock-down-rebuild.

1. Stop apologising for my coffee order just because it’s long to say and kind of pretentious. I am a barista – it’s not actually hard to make. I’m paying for the coffee. The apology is unnecessary.

2. Stop ducking my head when I walk past people. It’s almost like I’m ashamed to look people in the eye, or ashamed of people looking me in the eye. Honestly, it probably comes off as being rude. Stop doubting that I’m worth looking at.

3. Stop swearing when I don’t need to be swearing. Like when I’m not angry, just mild annoyed. Also: improve vocabulary of angry words.

4. Start accumulating healthy self care practices. Like going for walks. Not like browsing Facebook for two hours.

5. Start showing more daily compassion. I live one time. My friends deserve to know that I love them.
I think 5 is as many as I can realistically manage. And that’s okay with me.

2017 might be shit. We can’t predict anything, really. But I’m working on me this year, and hopefully everything else will fall into place. Or it won’t, and I can practice being okay with that.

I have 11 minutes to go, and some profanities to yell into the void.

Have a very happy new year.

Xx Loony

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2016, life, Paper Bag Poems, writing

Paper Bag Poems #25

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