What is a poet?
Is it a writer who rhymes
in perfect time
Or a person who captures a moment
like a sunset with a crisp breeze to calm the humidity
with streaks of a cool yellow, and a dimmed down orange
light pinks and wispy clouds
in the dimming light
But what is a poet?
Without a pen and paper to capture their words
or a mouth to speak them
or a mind to think them
What is a poet?
without a life
without a story
without love or misery
Is it a tortured soul or a happy idiot?
No, a poet is a poet.
With a mind to think and a soul to speak.
With this pen
I slit my wrist
Let it bleed on this page
Release the sadness and rage
Let these words
Pick the lock and let me out if this cage
Paint a smile for those I love
They don't need to know
So I do my best to hide
All the pain that's deep inside
Writing blood and tears
In this little book of mine
No, I don't want it to show
I don't want your attention for this
It just brings more pain
If blood on the floor
Is what it takes to say my name
I'd rather hear silence
At least it's honest
So I write these words
Just for me
To keep Death away
I scribe its name
And hope one day
The pain that fills my pen
Will drain away
And I can put this blade
For sixteen years now I've been haunted by your death,
you'd have been 27 today.
I was only 7 when it happened; when you drew your last breath,
your 'little shadow' lost something deep inside herself that day.
you were the only one who cared about me then,
alone and scared in the hospital; you were my only friend.
You helped me cope; taught me how to unleash my pen,
if I couldn't deal with it; you'd help me mend.
I thought you were fine; we'd just spoke on the phone,
making plans to go to the movies the next day.
Your voice never betrayed the 'secret' your face would have shown,
last words I heard are "I'll see you tommorrow Jenni, I promise." you say.
you never came; I knew something was off,
then that gut wrenching phone call...
my mother hung up and told me you'd died; her voice all quiet and soft.
I remember my head spinning,
I black out and fall.
It was several months after; that I found out what happened,
why you'd gone.
Your own demon won over as your depression deepened,
you hung yourself; leaving me here alone and undone.
Why did you have to go,
why must I stay all by myself?
As an adult I now understand; I know,
but it still eats me up inside; my broken innerself.
Sixteen years later; I still have that damn note you left me,
it's the only thing I've got left of you;
"Tell Jenni I'm so sorry,
and that I love her.
He told me that if I told anyone he'd take me and my brothers and sisters away from our mom and he'd kill her.
when I was 6 my mother married my stepfather (who is phsyically, mentally, and verbally abusive), and soon after I had a tramatic black out and according to my family I stabbed my stepfather in the leg with a kitchen knife, I was screaming like a banshee, and trying to hurt myself.
My mother and stepfather took me to a psychiatric hospital and kept me there for 6 months.
I would not talk to the doctors, nurses, shrieks, anyone and everyone was an enemy as far as I was concerned.
The place was terrifiying, the kids there were all disturbed in one way or another.
Elizabeth was 13, and was there because her father had been sexually abusing her since she was 4.
She and I became friends, and she protected me against older kids that would bully others or worse.
She was the only one I opened up to, she convinced me that I should speak to the doctors, that they would help.
She assured me my father would not take me or my siblings away or harm my mother, and that he might be put in jail if I told them what happened.
I trusted her judgement so I did, and after a lot of different things I was released from the hospital.
Elizabeth and I stayed in contact, she lived a few blocks from me.
The night she killed herself we had talked about going and seeing the new disney movie that had just come out and were planning to good see it after school the next day.
My mother did tell me she died but wouldn't tell me why, wouldn't let me go to her funeral, nothing.
I found out through a friend of hers that hung out with us sometimes, and her mother years later confirmed it.
Her father had gotten off the court charges because of some techincallity, and she was to vist him every weekend.
She knew what would happen when she did, so rather than face it she hung herself in her basement.
Elizabeth was my guardian angel then, and I believe she still is today.
I miss her dearly everyday.
My friend, guardian angel, and sister.
I drew an exclamation point in the air
I watched it float around
It moved with the people
The noise of the city
I saw the exclamation point
And so I decided
To turn it
Not so different from this one
Was the poem
I picked up a pen
In the air
And you saw
And you saw
The exclamation point
And so you asked me
And I said I didn’t know
But I do know
And you said
And I said
I don’t know
But I know
So you said
Tell me what you don’t know
And I said
I don’t know
So you said
Tell me what you know
And I told you
About the poem
And the exclamation point
And you smiled
And held out your hand
And I put a pen in it
And we wrote in the air
Beside the point
Punctuation floating round our heads.
Red, as the deepest rose in a bloom of spring
like the blood that runs through my being
like the light inside the tower for men at sea
your touch creates a safe haven for me
Dust, clouded and floating through the air
like a part of the Earth that didn't bother to care
like the way a fire sparkles through a dead night
you are just the correct type of write
Fragmented and broken in a universe of chaotic distrust
like a brand new bike with a slight bit of rust
like joy that only comes when you're in my hand
no need for an audience, you are my biggest fan
A song to be belted from the top of a mountain high
like the coarse, bristly hairs my fingers slip by
like the tissues that have wiped so many tears
you are the only one who will ever understand my wants and fears
And love, the sweetest, most innocent, and pure kind
like the first opening of a newborn's eyes
like the moment you realize your purpose in life
you are the only one I feel I will ever do write by
So here's to you, my dearest friend- my pen,
you are why I am who I am.
Genius comes with revision
Like the way the best line in a poem delivers an emotional punch
That can't be described, only recreated
By other poets with their sharply focused emotions filtered through words like a camera lens.
Take your poem and photoshop it. Add in blurred edges for
Vagueness. Adjust for context.
Revise, revise again.
I want to revise the way I feel about you
Put it aside like a short story and return in a month with a red pen to make corrections
Love is for people who can't focus
Love is for people with bad photoshop skills
Who keep moving the eraser tool over and over your picture but can't seem to make you fade away
And the images are saved to a permanent file in my heart's hard drive
I want to delete the way I feel about you
It's the wrong extension, and a more experienced photographer would know not to make this kind of stupid mistake
Don't let your emotions get in the way of a good picture
Don't let a good picture get in the way of a major revision
Hold the pen in your hand and deliver an emotional punch
I want to punch the way I feel about you
Crossing you out in every stanza
Until revision makes me a genius
A poem with red lines over my heart.
I compose each word with the most careful pen stroke
Ensuring you truly grasp the feeling I wish to invoke
My words must reach you soul or this ink is in vain
Let my written voice sink in like a needle to the vein
I need for you to receive the message that I wish to convey
So read within these pages what my lips will never say
I will write and you shall see what lies within my soul
For my work to reach within yours is my ultimate goal
dip my pen tip into my subconscious
use my imagination like ink
continue writing chicken scratch
on my paper.
these stupid, meaningless little words
simply an insufficient medium for
I think the time has
Come for me to put down my pen I can no
Longer write to compete
With them my style has
Become out classed
Ive become a fage memorie of writers from
The past its something
I cant out last to much
Of a straining task the mount of presure
I push my self to write
I might as well go knock
For the devil and see if I can sell my soul lost in
This dark hole trying to
Find light no ink left to
Express with losing sight
No where I go is comfort
Restless sleeps minds
A mess to deep in thought a war no longer
Im ready to hold this fort guns steady
Ready pull :-X
Being genuinely loved by someone gives vigor;
loving someone extremely gives you bravery;
An Ink Pot represents an art of virgin women;
The writing pen symbolizes a poet of beauty;
Let her fill the colorful ink of her own sacred life;
And the poor poet to spill the lyric of love to link!
BY WILLIAMSJI MAVELI
(All poems in this series are, translations from Malayalam, originally written in author’s mother-tongue, “Malayalam’”, the language of Kerala, in South India.)
BY WILLIAMSJI MAVELI