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May 18 · 48
In Fact We Are Lost
Danika May 18
Wandering
   is my life
as I walk through my days
obeying the whims of others
I am blinded by indecision
feet stuck in a mire
   of surviving another day
impermanent home
unsteady ground
You don’t see
   that my world
      tries relentlessly
          to knock me off my feet

Set me on steady ground
    I’m sorry to say
         that some who wander
                   are
                          in fact
                                     lost.
Jan 23 · 121
Caricatures
Danika Jan 23
We turn people into caricatures
    so they hurt a little less
          when they come into our minds
                     unbidden, unwanted
Nov 2019 · 327
Yellow Brick Road
Danika Nov 2019
A thousand paths
          A million miles
A clutter of questions
         A desperation for direction

Won't you tell me which way
      So we can cease our wandering
Nov 2019 · 141
Friends Gone Away
Danika Nov 2019
I hold you in my memory
And you are perpetually my friend
And simultaneously not my friend

Because you graduated before me
Or we all got caught up in our own colleges
Or because you moved away across the ocean to study
Or to join the peace corp
Or your job after college took all your time as you chased your dreams
Or you enlisted and may as well be in Antarctica

And the time stretched on without talking
Without seeing each other
Without visiting our hometown

And it is okay.
But also not.
Because you were a wonderful friend.

But in my stories of way back when
I still refer to you as my friend
Because I hope that our paths
Our millions of trajectories, vectors
Will cross again
How fortunate they met once.
Aug 2019 · 163
New School Year
Danika Aug 2019
How can I motivate you to learn
organically, without negativity
without complaining
without avoidance

How can I relate to you
when my whole being loves to learn
and craves to know
of history, of art, of literature, of what makes us human

We only have a short amount of time
in an infinite universe
How can you not want to soak up every second of knowledge?
just for the sake of it
Aug 2019 · 533
Eye contact
Danika Aug 2019
I am facing grief
I can see her standing not far off
calmly waiting

I won't look down
or avert my gaze
I dare her to look away first
My teeth are clenched but I won't let her know
And my fists may shake
and my eyes may burn
but I will stand my ground
when she finally walks my way
I hate waiting on a prognosis, on a length of time, on cancer to finally take over again in my family.
Feb 2019 · 271
Crosses
Danika Feb 2019
Heavy.
These worries like weights rest on my shoulders
unwavering, burdening
and it feels like some burdens can't be cast aside
and the race feels more
like the march to Calvary
as we all shoulder our crosses,
these heavy, heavy crosses.
Jan 2019 · 224
Teacher Burnout
Danika Jan 2019
What I’ll always struggle with
And never understand
Is how people can just not care
About literature
Or art
Or history
Or any information

I’ll never understand
Those who pass by museum plaques
Who pass on documentaries
Who hate to read
And say so what

I could never
Choose ignorance
When there’s a whole world out there
Full of people and stories and sights unseen

I always look around me
Whenever I go anywhere
And try to see things
That no one has looked at before
The angles of sidewalk cracks
And what shapes the potholes make

I have found
That I will never be content
To sit at home
When there are coffee shops
Libraries
Old homes
And old parks
For me to walk in and just be in

I will never understand
When my students say
That This is boring
and When will I ever use this
When this is your life
Your world
Our collective human experience
that you have the enormous privilege
to be a part of

I want to shout
Look outside
Go outside
How are you not amazed
That we are here
In the present
That hands upon hands
And generations upon generations
Have worked together
To build to destroy to fight to survive

I will never get it
And that is my fate
To care too much
Because I know others won’t.
May 2018 · 549
Nevada Sunrise
Danika May 2018
The mountains are new each
      morning
clothed with white
      a dust of powered sugar
a confectioner's design
    resting, waiting in the cool
                       of the sunrise
hidden behind the fog
     mist and mystery
                   obscuring the heights
I never tire of looking west into the mountains
Oct 2017 · 253
Dreading Sunday
Danika Oct 2017
Dreading Sunday --
    and the blurry Monday after
hit for hit
      and blow by blow
one, two punch
     of a broken, shattered world
I dread Sunday
    and though I be not superstitious
I can't help feeling
    the notion of things in threes
murders
      fires
           fill in the blank
what will Sunday bring
           I dare not think
This month has been rough, between the Las Vegas massacre and all the fires in the NorCal and in OC. I grew up in Napa, went to college in Irvine, and now live in Nevada.... this is all hitting much too close to home. Literally.
Danika Apr 2017
He told me
that I was still pretty when I cried
and that my eyes were even more beautiful,
sparkling and green.

good to know I still looked good
even when you made me cry
and that you liked looking at me

I’ll have you know
my eyes don’t look like that much anymore
and I prefer it that way.
4/29/17
Apr 2017 · 1.4k
i thank my lucky stars
Danika Apr 2017
if there’s no such thing as luck,
then how did I meet you at just the right time?

My bad decisions were supposed to doom me
I planned on dooming myself, if I’m honest
but something stopped me

and a month later
I met you
4/29/17
Apr 2017 · 643
Humboldt
Danika Apr 2017
my favorite picture of myself
was taken in a redwood forest

I stood next to a tree
at the age of seventeen
and the height of six feet
and about 130 pounds

and for once
I felt short
and not the giant myself
4/28/17
Apr 2017 · 653
Track Record
Danika Apr 2017
they always say it isn’t a competition
but sometime it sure feels like it

two people have broken up with their girlfriends to date me
another one offered
maybe these aren’t compliments, but I guess I’ll take them as such
4/27/17
Apr 2017 · 527
Safe
Danika Apr 2017
You made me feel safe
With your arms around me against the world
But we aren’t meant to be against the world
And you just can’t let me embrace it like I should
So you stopped making me feel safe
And became the enemy instead
6/1/14
Apr 2017 · 349
Catch and Release
Danika Apr 2017
Springsteen sang about glory days
and I laughed
and swore that wouldn’t be me.
I looked around this small town
at these large fishes
and knew I’d find a bigger pond.

But here I am
holding up jerseys
reading newspaper clippings
looking at old pictures
corsages
valentine’s roses
yearbook autographs
picture day poses

and can’t stop talking about
glory days.
4/26/17
Apr 2017 · 853
Slight Confession
Danika Apr 2017
My hardest goodbye was actually to your dog.
4/17/17
Apr 2017 · 420
Pietro Giannone
Danika Apr 2017
this night isn’t over
grab my hand
and my heart
4/17/17
Apr 2017 · 299
IF
Danika Apr 2017
IF
sitting on an If
is all we do these days
sitting on a Maybe
on an I have no idea
It will work out
We’ll just have to wait and see
Limbo
In between
From when our plan was swept away
scattered in bad timing

So this is real life
What Dad always mentioned in his prayers
about the unnamed families sitting in church pews
hands folded, heads bowed, eyes open
of finding a home and finding a job
of finding a paycheck finding a future
he was right
it’s easier said than done
to believe there is a plan
10/30/16
Feb 2015 · 626
Wandering
Danika Feb 2015
I can do it by myself
   take in the world
          live that wanderlust
      that envied life
but that would be a lonely life
         for I’d have the world
   but I wouldn’t have you
only an empty seat on a train
     a solitary picture against sunsets
a table for one
single bed, single reservation
I’d have to hold my map with both hands
hold my memories to myself
    Yes I can do it alone
but I’d rather live a lifetime
    or ten
without the mountains
      without the oceans
if it meant I’d have a world
that I could share with you.
2/4/15 12:48 am
Jan 2015 · 420
You at One End
Danika Jan 2015
You at one end
    I at the other
with a margherita pizza
I think you ordered a calzone
or maybe not
but you at one end
    I at the other
knew where we should be
next to eachother
12/6/14
Danika Oct 2014
In you I found
A deeper love
Than ever I thought possible
Or rather
I found it
In me

Finally
A love I could run with
Sep 2014 · 425
3 am
Danika Sep 2014
It is 3:21 in the morning
And yet I do not, cannot, sleep
As acoustic melodies play on through
the semi-lit semi-dark night
easing on towards morning
in which perhaps I will still sit
on this empty bed that misses you
typing those 3:24 am thoughts
that are drenched in you

it’s empty in this room
walls bare and blinds closed
casting only dim lights
as cars drive by, tires over wet pavement
it’s cold here without
you to fill up the space
space that remembers
your presence
how you filled this space with it

I think I will sit on til morning
For it’s only hours away
Sleep won’t come to keep me company
For nothing will
Nothing keeps company
Like these 3:34 am obsessions
Remembrances of when you still existed here
Inspired by Iron & Wine's cover of "Such Great Heights"
Sep 2014 · 676
Countdown
Danika Sep 2014
I’m on a countdown
With only days to live
Before that inevitable heartbreak will come
You are the drug that heals
But with destructive side-affects
We have days left
When you hold my hand and tell me it’s over
But I want to keep living
I want to run away with you
And escape all this
I want to have strength to climb
And to heal and dance
You have the power to give me more days
Please
Please give those days to me
I wish you could sacrifice it all for me
But then someone else will be in this bed
Begging for release from the pain
5:09 am 5/27/14
Jul 2014 · 582
Plans
Danika Jul 2014
Perhaps the strangest feeling
is when you go from speaking to someone every day
so concerned for their well-being, their mood, their everything
making plans around them
today plans and future ten-years-from-now plans
what-are-you-doing-for-dinner plans
let-me-check-with-you-first plans
to never speaking
never consulting them
no more how are yous
good mornings and goodnights
no more voiced concern though the worry still there
a forced separation
not of death or distance but of feeling
of we can’t speak anymore
we can’t be lovers we can’t be friends
we can’t be anything but strangers with history

what’s harder
is when they don’t understand

because you found someone else
to make plans with
</3
Feb 2014 · 438
Damn Song
Danika Feb 2014
That song. That **** song.
It's like acid on my stomach
dropping my blood from my face to my toes
from those first xylophone notes
that spell out our end
it makes me sick
actually sick
my stomach churns
grates against my lungs
and it's like a drug
I want to quit
listening and listening
to that **** song
but it reminds me

that you could be happy.

that I could be happy.
if it weren't for that **** song.
Feb 2014 · 287
Done
Danika Feb 2014
eye in the hurricane
calm in the thunder and lightning
blank eyes in raging yells
low voice as you yell at me
the steady heartbeat
as yours flies wild
as your words attack
and you call on the winds and rain
and throw your very nature against me.

in that moment
i was done.
meh
Feb 2014 · 333
Untitled I
Danika Feb 2014
Love is not a victory march
sang a wise man once.
It used to sound depressing
that love was a battlefield, a sickness, a disease.
but love is not always good days
holding hands, cooking dinner together, picking out furniture.
love is not always no-you-go-first's or i-love-you-more's
it's not always sacrifice and silent support
it is long days, disappointment, and let down much of the time.

But what it means is that on those bad days,
those battlefield, let-down days
that you aren't alone
that they might cook you dinner
and encourage you to follow your goals
and that you get to fight over doing the dishes.
It means that someone is trying
trying to hold your hand and
hold their head high in a victory march
and shout, whisper, tell you Hallelujah.
God be praised, we have each other.
Nov 2013 · 905
Kitchen Remains
Danika Nov 2013
Soapy suds and lemon-sweet spray
Swirling round the dishes and pans
Crumbs swept down the gulping drain
Once fallen off the cliff of granite counter
A splash of water to rinse the porcelains and glass
Passed on to rest and dry, water evaporated
And the vanished with towel and rag
Stacked away to come again, tomorrow.

Cleaning, rinsing, washing I don’t mind one bit
It’s a secret world of battle fields and movie theaters
You see the leftovers, the what has happened
The aftermath of spaghetti or who fired first
When the dust has settled and company is all gone
The quiet of clean kitchen, flowers on the table
Coffins with draped flags, credits rolling on
Stray graduation caps, church bulletins, playbills under seats
Stray wanderer, a janitor, wandering through
Hand easing over chairs or edges of craters
To see what’s left of the echoes of what just happened
The echo of a drop in the sink
Oct 2013 · 535
Possible
Danika Oct 2013
For the first time in my life
I’m just going to go for it
Not worry, not plan, not be afraid
Just take what I want and go go go
God as my witness and you by my side
It is possible.
It is possible.
It is possible.
Oct 2013 · 411
Bus
Danika Oct 2013
Bus
Buses have always been a romantic thing
Staring out the window
Watches as trees go by and highway lines
Running somewhere going home
Running away
Or just running running running
Staring outside as the sun fades away
And darkness clings to the windows
And the cold too
But it’s not cold here
No it’s warm
Even if empty
For buses have always been rather romantic.
1/11/12
Oct 2013 · 1.9k
Home
Danika Oct 2013
I want to go home
And end this charade
This summer camp that’s supposed to last four years
Okay game’s over
I want to go home
8/23/12. College ****** at first.
Oct 2013 · 824
Feelings
Danika Oct 2013
We’re running in circles
Between feelings and reality
True feelings
Expected feelings
Lying feelings
I miss you
I love you
I’m lying to you
But still want to be together
But it’s not that easy
I don’t really believe it
As least not for myself
Better together
Or at least better than being alone
It’s security
Assurance
Not being stuck alone
And through the tears the words that tear
The tottering on the cliff
The absences of any feeling
The circle still continues
Of cyclical dependency
And tentative independence unsure
From 3/11/12
Jun 2013 · 440
Blue October
Danika Jun 2013
I hope you listen to Blue October and think of how you ******* me over
I hope it sparks in you the
Same confusion it does in me
The same confusion I felt
   When you said hello like
Nothing ever even happened
Like you never promised me the world
And I never dreamed of taking it
I hope you wonder too
What the hell happened
Because I sure do
Jun 2013 · 295
To All of You
Danika Jun 2013
I’m sorry things weren’t what we expected
That we’d be best friends through and through
But you went your way and I went his
And only look back to see the unnecessary pieces I’ve dropped
To make sure they’re there, away from me
On the ground, my feet move on.
Jun 2013 · 511
New York
Danika Jun 2013
I miss you like crazy
And all our crazy car rides
Weighed by time and our dreaming
I miss those conversations
Those promises, those truths
The way we each grew and
Grew into each other
I miss you like crazy
And I hope you miss me too
Because New York is awfully far away
Jun 2013 · 1.1k
Vodka Gatorade
Danika Jun 2013
Was that awkward?
That night a week or two ago
I rubbed your back – a mother to and from
the drunk and said it was okay.
You said you missed me – I said you too
But now where’s the missing, the I trust you too?
Jun 2013 · 687
The Love-Hate of Love
Danika Jun 2013
I have a question, a lasting question
we all discuss and dance about
we ask and ask and talk and talk
but get nowhere and just turn again.
Why do we write so much of love
and its volatile entities?

We write of love when we're so in love
and can't imagine a world without him
yet we write too when he's gone and can go to hell for all I care.
We write to curse, we write to condemn
but curse his good looks that make us swoon, stare
and ***** words of promises and daydreams
of the beauty of love and that it's the only good in the world.

So tell me why it's the one thing we can always write of
even though it won't stand still when we try to paint its portrait.
Why are we so fascinated by this changing monster?
Why are we still friends with so unloyal a topic?
And why, still why, am I writing of it once again?
Jun 2013 · 4.6k
Summer
Danika Jun 2013
Hydrangeas explode, grass spikes the soil
Sun scorches all, water crashes on shores
Ice destroyed, eyes beaten by bright rays
Heat everywhere, blue suffocates the sky
We love a violent summer
Apr 2013 · 771
Leaves
Danika Apr 2013
Enter October
we will never leave
and hold tight
tightly hold those leaves
Don’t let the fall fall away
         And autumn leaves
         Reflect the warmth
         In our eyes
Feb 2013 · 336
Plans
Danika Feb 2013
I once said I had it all planned out
The colors the music the numbers the everything
Then you came along
And showed me plans change
     And that’s okay
That it’s not when or what or which one
But simply who
And that it’s him
And me
And we’re happy
And we make no plans
Or rather
we make the plans
Sep 2012 · 978
Clean
Danika Sep 2012
We all love
                     falling
                                     in
                                            love
And holding hands that first time
And guessing, always guessing what the other person is thinking

But you know what?
Climbing out isn’t so bad
It means we got out of that muddy hole we first fell into
And it feels
so
****
good
to be
              clean
Aug 2012 · 2.0k
Miss you way too much
Danika Aug 2012
I miss you from my toes
painted bright red
red that reminds me of you
since you always looked better than I did in red

I miss you from my knees
the ones we'd compare
and all the bumps and bruises
from playing each other in basketball

I miss you from my waist
the waist you insisted was smaller than yours
at least you had hips
and attracted all the boys

I miss you from my stomach
and the bellybuttons we promised we'd pierce
together once we left home

I miss you from my shoulders
and feeling your arms rest on them as we'd hug
the weight on my shoulders more than that
as I miss you too much

I miss you from my head
and all the memories
As everything I look at
reminds me more of you

I miss you from everything
and just want you here
Sometimes a soul mate isn't a lover or spouse, but a best friend. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, but honestly, it really *****.
Aug 2012 · 301
Now It Comes
Danika Aug 2012
So I finally get what I want
Wanted
For so so long so badly
And it’s never enough
Or rather too much
And let’s just stay friends
Okay.
Mar 2012 · 1.1k
Modern Literature
Danika Mar 2012
It seems to me that everyone cares about rain
How she is sad, peaceful, playful, and calm
They find so much meaning in a simple process
Just like the oceans and stars and snow and trees
Simple nature yet so so meaningful
Yes we should cherish them, but why worship them so?
We at least should praise the creator as well
Mona Lisa beautiful, but Da Vinci the true wonder
Just like Michelangelo’s David, La Pieta
Stuck in a museum, but their names said everywhere
Yes the waves are like time always flowing
And the different flowers of a garden a family
But we look too deep too far too much
How can a deeply complex person be so similar to a piece of wood or a rock?
Write whole paragraphs of the similarities of their hard, unmoving presence
Go on about the color, size, very feeling and cold temperature
Can’t a rock be a rock and a human a human?
We over-analyze the words of literature of literate genius
The very tools of a toolbox represent a whole family
Yes, but why? Who even cares?
The rain is powerful, oh—and so is love
But aren’t cars powerful? Horses? Batteries? Violence?
The moon is bright! But so is a light bulb or scared searching flashlight
We hear and say, we see and feel, but it’s all what we want to know
Connections made, yet they take the form of poetic words of beautiful images
The other truths ignored, simply because who likes looking and thinking of a car or garbage bin?
Instead we look to an ever powerful horse, a wooden bucket with gourd to scoop up the oh-so-refreshing pine scented water
Let me go grab a plastic cup and hold it impatiently to a faulty refrigerator
Why do so few write of the real?
Of real problems, ideas, morals?
Oh-love and accept everyone!
Hell no—exceptions really reign
I love to write, but to read those drowning in clichés; oh please pull me out of these waters of repetition
I wish some person would be real, but for now
I suppose it’s left to me
I wrote this after reading "As I Lay Dying" in school and the meaning and symbolism my English teacher found in it, which I often disagreed with. Basically my frustration with unoriginal and cliche-loving writers also. Hence, I dedicate this to my 11th grade English teacher.
Mar 2012 · 774
Thoughts of the Morning
Danika Mar 2012
Deep breath, a sigh, the fresh morning is here
Sunshine has parted the sad dark of night
Early and empty, there’s nothing to fear
Dewdrops on roses, everything so bright
Fortunate nature, golden shining rays
Accompanied by singing brook and bird
All of nature giving God their glad praise
I stop to listen, I seem to have heard
Life and love, two words ringing together
Life is the setting, love is the meaning
Hearts full of love, as light as a feather
I walk alone, just thinking and dreaming
About our freedoms that give our souls lift,
Oh, just to be here, is life’s greatest gift
Mar 2012 · 677
Relationship
Danika Mar 2012
Looking glass
What do you see?
Smile back at you, at me
Icy silence, we avert our eyes
Mar 2012 · 448
Doubts
Danika Mar 2012
It’s your body you say
           And you’re beautiful the way you are
And don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not
And I’m terrified of the day
                         When you’re the one who thinks I’m not
Mar 2012 · 1.6k
Give Thanks
Danika Mar 2012
Be grateful. Be grateful
We say in situations of valor and tragedy
At dinner tables and kneeling rails
At hospital bedsides and parent teacher conferences
It could be worse
Or it might be great
Be grateful they all say
For the sun keeping us here
Here long enough to witness life
And death and violence with injustice and not fair
But grateful for the stars and for nights and winter seasons drenched in rain and icicles
When everything is frozen dangerously
Be grateful when things don’t work out—it could always be worse
At least it’s not raining, hailing, fire storming, apocalypse
They all say to be grateful for your friends
The ones you love, but also the pains and heartaches they cause
And the same for family, which causes so much hell in an already swirling environment
Be grateful for this protection by arms
But what about the cause?
Results not causes are what count in this time
And we never think of why, but only the surface
Be grateful for all you have
All? Including heartache and grief with stress and sin and chores topped with lies
Grateful
Is it knowing I am human?
I get to the point I’m saying thank you and don’t know why
But It could always be worse.

— The End —