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Apr 27 · 20
smoke and mirrors
imara Apr 27
sometimes i wonder
if i am lying to myself.
too often i find
that i am creating
fiction out of the mundane.
perhaps that's the storyteller in me.
but also part of me knows
it's the scared little girl
always afraid of giving
too much away-
a magician
who keeps her cards up her sleeve
too careful to to reveal the trick
until the curtains close,
the audience bows out,
and the theatre is nothing
but an empty husk
of echoes and dead applause.

what you see
is nothing but an illusion
of who i wish i were
but how i wish
it were more than just a
carefully crafted fantasy.
this charade is getting old.
this heart is growing cold.
someday, gravity will catch up
with this fantasy,
and the walls will come tumbling down.
but till then,
i'll keep my story shut,
and repaint this smile
while the world looks
the other way
found this on my notes app from a little while back.
feb 17, 2021
Feb 14 · 24
imposter
imara Feb 14
when do people ever feel
like they are the real deal
everyday i'm running round
trying to find my own sound
there are dagger eyes in my face
telling me i'll never be good enough
to take up my own space
maybe one day i'll step out
of the shadows
towards a stage
worth shining a light on
but till then
i'm working in the rafters
trying to collect stories
until they feel like they're worth telling
there's a little saying
you'll never know till you go
you gotta start somewhere
but somewhere always feels
a little further away than i can reach
the things i wanna be
the person i hope to become
is always a mile ahead
help me take the leap
till then i'll always be
scraping my feet
on the road
beneath her shadow
got invited to speak about something i'm really passionate about, but there's this little voice in my head always telling me i'll never be credible enough. it's crazy how much we put ourselves down even when people see you differently. how i wish i could see myself through other people's eyes.
Jan 2020 · 156
A Letter From The Loveless
imara Jan 2020
This assignment is the worst.
Let me tell you how I spent the past few days contemplating whether or not I had ever truly loved.
Let me tell you how I tried to spin strangers into metaphors-
Likening their veins to spiderwebs and eyes to oceans and cringing at the sound of a language I had abused into making meaning out of things that didn't really matter.
Now I know you said, "love doesn't have to be romantic."
It can be platonic like Batman and Robin or bordering animosity like Doofenshmirtz and Perry the Platypus, but I know that's not what people want to hear,
And as a person who lends her ear to the universe and knows that even the Big Bang could dissipate into a whisper amidst all this noise, I wanted to be worth listening to.
I wanted to tell a great love story, but I cannot even begin to fathom what it means to open up your heart wholly and freely-
To tell the castle guards to pull down the drawbridge and cross over to the other side.
The weather must be nice out there.
Perhaps the sun is so warm it could kiss your skin, and the wind so full of life it could carry you away if you let it.
If you let it breathe it could bring you to your knees, and isn't that what love is supposed to do?
Send you chasing hurricanes, turn your world upside down, make you question whether or not a God exists because love is a force of nature- good or bad, for better or for worse.
If love is the square root of all feeling, then to feel at all must be to love.
But I am just a girl living in a hollow house trying to fathom the paradox of feeling numb, as the storm rages outside.
Let the raindrops pitter patter on.
Let the clouds rumble.
If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine-
This is the sound of footsteps.
Someone is knocking at the door.
All I need to do
is let them in.
This was the first spoken word poetry piece I ever performed in public. My professor thought it would be a great idea to write love letters and read them out loud, which I dreaded for weeks until I found myself spewing out verses at a rate I had never done before. It was magical and exhilarating, and absolutely unlike anything I had ever felt before.
Feb 2019 · 362
To Those Who Move
imara Feb 2019
I see you-
With your wide eyes,
And your hands stretched out,
Ready to catch the world
At the tip of your fingers.

You're searching
For a reason to escape-
To hop on the next ship
To God knows where,
And make metaphors
Out of all the wrong places.

I see you with your casual grin
And your nose scrunched up like this.
You're sniffing out danger-
following all the red flags,
And searching for a story-
One about the line between
Staying alive and living.
It looks a lot like
A crime scene
And your hands are painted bright red.

I see you with your
Too thick sweater
And hiking shoes.
You're preparing for the worst,
Whether the weather
Or the rickety trail ahead.

All you want to do
Is run until your feet
Leave the ground.
Your soles are a little worn in,
And your hair
Ruffed up from the hood.
You're afraid to let the raindrops in
Thinking you might catch a cold,
Or an excuse to latch
Your feet onto the bedroom floor.

Not you.
You were made for moving.

I see you
Looking at me-
Every instinct telling you
To walk away.

Just stop.

Hold on a little while, darling.

There's a cup of coffee
Freshly brewed
On the table downstairs.
Set down the baggage
And step inside.
The door's wide open,
And the cold is creeping in,
But right now,
You can keep warm
By the fireplace.

I may only have two hands
To hold all your troubles,
But I will gladly share the load.
All you need to do
Is stay.
The writer in me has been on hiatus for quite some time, but I think she's back. This is the third of three poems I've written in the past week. That's more than I've done in years. Here's to hoping the words keep tumbling out.
Sep 2018 · 195
the last dance
imara Sep 2018
i remember you
there are days i almost don't
there are days i wish i didn't
there are nights i ask
all i do is ask
until there are no more questions left
at least i think there aren't
but they come back in hurricanes
and i weather the storm
every day and every night that i miss you.

i know that there was never anything there
it was only a night
only a day that turned into a night
that turned into a mistake
at least it felt like one
but it wasn't
it might have been the best thing that ever happened to me
and it meant something
that you may never have remembered.

it turned into a song
that i can never play without my heart pumping faster
it turned into a story
and what a story it would have been
if i had the heart to tell it to more than seven people
but right now,
i'd rather keep it between us
a secret locked away
a little deeper than the rest
tucked away and sent to bed
with a warm kiss goodnight.
i don't know why i thought of you tonight. i miss you. i hope you're happy there.
Aug 2018 · 464
hear me, my friend
imara Aug 2018
there's a little spot i go to sometimes
where the air is a little cooler than usual
underneath a tall old tree
with branches like fingers reaching for the sun
casting shadows on my face.

there's a little feeling i get,
a sinking in my stomach
with no sign of relief
it plunges deeper and deeper
and all i feel is empty.

i guess all i'm doing now
is waiting around to escape-
to get away from here,
and find refuge somewhere much, much farther.

my heart is a little empty
and alone.
all i ask is that you hear it,
and figure out
the irregular beat.
that calls for you.
Dec 2017 · 153
You Are Not A Poem
imara Dec 2017
I have not written a good thing
In quite a long time.
But you-
You are a good thing.
But I have not written you.
I did not write you.
No matter how much I try to
I find it difficult to put your name into letters,
And your laugh into syllables,
Your smile into sentences,
And your hugs into paragraphs
That can cover the world in warmth.
And I think one day,
I'll find that you've already turned
Your life into stories
Because I took too long trying to write you.
But your letters,
Your syllables,
Your sentences,
Your paragraphs,
Your stories
Do not belong to me-
Are not mine to tell.
And after all this time
Only now have I come to realize
That you are a poem in your own right
But the honor of writing you
Has never been mine.
I started writing this 2 months ago. It's been too long and I don't remember who this was about, but words change and twist into meanings of their own. Here's to the ideas of people we turn into stories. Here's to falling in love with the characters we create. Here's to you, and the poem I wish you were.
Oct 2017 · 123
Don't tell me what to do
imara Oct 2017
There's a little more to this story
Than I care to write
That one day, you grow a little older

And you start to realize
That the gates are open a whole lot wider
But the chains bite at your feet all the same
And you still feel
Trapped

And you can't explain the feeling
That makes you want to scream and shout
To nobody in particular
Because all your heart feels right now
Is heavy

And they tell you over and over again
To bend your knees
And widen your stance
And take the strength from the bottom up
Don't break your back
Just lift.
But you're weak, and you've always been weak
And there's no day that you think things might just get better
Because lately, they haven't
And you tell yourself over and over again
I'm never going to be that type of girl
That cries in her bedroom
And resigns herself to sadness
And thinks the world is some hopeless place
Because all that is to me
Is a weakness-
A sickness you can't diagnose.

And I'm scared.
I'm more than scared.
I'm terrified
Of the potential of becoming that type of person
Because I'm not.
I'm just not, **** it.
Sep 2017 · 136
raindrops
imara Sep 2017
it's hard not to get a little bit nostalgic
when the clouds pour a little harder outside
and the sky looks foggier than usual
when the possibilities seem like they could fall through your fingertips
because in this moment
the world is on pause
while the roads overflow,
the wind howls hard enough to turn umbrellas inside out
and all you can do
is wrap yourself beneath the covers
dim the lights
and think of the many things you should be doing
that were put on hold
to make room for other, more sentimental activities
like daydreaming-
letting your mind wander around fields
with sunny skies and morning breezes
and think of arms
that should be wrapped around you
while you curl up into a cocoon
hoping they never let you go
i think this break
is what we all needed
this warp in time
this still frame of many
this calm during the storm
Sep 2017 · 152
out there
imara Sep 2017
a glimpse-
that's all i ask for now
a glimpse into the world that is waiting for me
that someday there will be things
i will learn to understand.
that someday there may no longer be
this void in my left chest
and instead a regular thumping
pumping blood through my veins
and rushing to fill these hollow cheeks.
that someday i will no longer feel this ache
for something i never had
for you are out there
somewhere.

i strongly hold on to the belief
we have never met,
that we have yet to cross paths.
but then again perhaps we have
but my eyes were too busy
scouring the crowd for someone else.
then in that case, i apologize
that our eyes didn't meet a fraction of a second longer,
to give away the possibility
of glimpsing into the future.

after all, there is no good
in fast forwarding through the *****,
corrupted parts
to get to the happy ending.

so i will not wait
for this story does not end nor begin
in my exposition to your story
but rather,
it finds itself intertwining
chasing crossroads
melding and tangling itself
in other threads
and finding itself enamoured
with the possibility
that you are out there
a little further down the line
and all i have to do
is float along and get caught up in strings
that are as unfamiliar
as the future we are yet to write.
here's to you, who i have yet to meet.
Aug 2017 · 946
breaking point
imara Aug 2017
maybe some day
we’ll get the courage to tell the people we love
how we feel
but that day is not today
still-
there’s this danger
that tomorrow may never come
that there are too many things
we leave on the side
and save for a rainy day
that we push onto a shelf
and bookmark for later
and the words never come pouring out
but stay quiet and hidden in the dark
and maybe it’s for the best
but then we never realize
that these words could have meant something
to someone
that maybe they could’ve changed one thing
a little thing
that meant a whole lot
that maybe they just needed
a little push
an ounce of support
a single word
to lift the load day by day
and maybe we should have taken the words off the shelf
and given them away day by day
left little bits and pieces
on tabletops and car windows
on seat cushions and blankets
on television screens and corkboards
on billboards on the way to work
and traffic signs on the way home
on arms and hands and cheeks and chests
things that accumulated day by day
and made someone feel a little less heavy
and a whole lot more loved
but the truth is
every day goes from hours till dark
to minutes
to seconds
to moments that drift away and slip off our fingers
and before we know it
the sun has set
the lights have gone out
the birds have gone to sleep
and the moment has past
“there’s always tomorrow”
we say
but what if the load gets too heavy?
what if it breaks their back?
what if everything comes crashing down a little too soon
and it won’t take a little word to fix it?
what if you open up the jar on the shelf
and find that the words you’ve saved up
are no longer enough?
what then?
what then
Jul 2017 · 146
danger zone
imara Jul 2017
there are too many thoughts
reserved for 3 AM
piling on and barging in
pounding on doors and tapping on windows
thoughts that spell danger
thoughts that chant
"beware" or thou shall not pass
they tickle your spine
creep into your brain
cross the space between here and there a little too quickly
but stay hushed
for fear of being heard
or found out
or living till the sunrise
no.
these thoughts can't live to see the day
they're a little too outrageous
they don't want to be met with sanity
don't want to realize that they will never last beyond the night
they're meant for a certain hour
a certain time
a certain moment
but these thoughts are the only truths you've ever spoken
in quite a long time
and it scares you that maybe
they're a little too real even for the hour
so you tuck them in
send them to bed
turn out the light
and hope the monsters don't creep in and take them
and lead them some place far away
hope the lightning doesn't strike
doesn't fill their veins with electricity
to send them walking in broad daylight
asking
begging to be noticed
hope that when you wake up
they'll be nothing but thoughts
thoughts that stand watch till midnight
and even after
waiting
for you to return
i swear this isn't about you
Nov 2016 · 417
snakes and ladders
imara Nov 2016
i tell you it's not a game
how no thoughts are needed
no tricks, no plans
just roll the die, and see where it takes you

i tell you, you belong to the numbers
nothing but chance and percentages
nothing but pieces moving
and coming into play

you tell me we need more games
that involve strategizing,
that involve twists and turns
and less pieces

i tell you the experience is all in the art
it's all about finding out where the end is
it's not always about winning i say
and yet you play on recklessly

you and i, we're nothing but chance friday encounters
nothing but brief walks from here to there
nothing but lingering stares in the lobby
nothing but car rides from houses
where the games are far more complicated
and far more well thought of
than two dice rolling on a playing board

there's nowhere to go from where we began
yet i would be lying to myself if i said
i didn't feel a little flutter in my heart
when i saw you waiting outside the door
for me to step outside

we took one last walk on the day when he was buried
one last march outside
strolling the other way
and you turned to me and said
you felt it too
here's a little placeholder till i find the inspiration to actually write this poem in the way that i want it to go. please don't read this yet. it's just a jumble of ideas. it'll come....soon i hope.
imara Apr 2016
I have not written poetry in too long. My hands are no longer accustomed
to randomly clicking the Enter bar, and making it
sound as if my words are perfectly divided to suit these confines.
Today, I have made an exception
because your name has too often found its way onto my fingertips-
and I have so little to hold on to yet I find it incredibly difficult
to keep a straight face in your presence.
It's as if I can sense whenever you are near.
I've never believed in signs as much as I do now, and my point is that only now
has it crossed my mind that I have seen you every day this week
and I dread the moment that your face will no longer take a second of this 24 hour cycle.
And when that moment comes,
I will look back to the time when we first met.
I was wearing my old pajama pants, and a tight black t-shirt, and I remember you coming towards me so clearly. You asked me about the kid who had fallen asleep in the back, and I laughed and told you we would never catch the culprit.
I will look back to when your name first popped up on my feed, to the awkward first moments
when I would take 5 minutes between every message I sent to double check whether I sounded as if I did this all the time-
As if I were too preoccupied with my own life to respond right away when in reality my focus had shifted completely to trying to impress you.
I will look back to that first walk outside, my failed attempts at making conversation, but dear god, you made it so easy to ramble on as if my words were waterfalls, and my lungs held the town's reservoir.
I will look back to returning to our empty classroom together.
It looked different than it usually did, with nothing but empty chairs facing the stage-
and when you asked me to dance, I remember how I felt flustered over the way we had just met
And here I was, holding your waist while you rested your hand on my shoulder, and never had I felt as inadequate as I did in that moment.
I do not have much to offer. Yes, she can dance, but I can teach you how to make your fingertips waltz and glide over black and white keys, if only you allow me to hold them once more.
I will look back to the time when you asked me if I loved you,
and I remember avoiding your glance,
I remember hastily fumbling with my fingers, and surprising even myself when my lips curled what should have been a no into a hesitant yes.
I will replay that moment over and over and over again, and tell myself I should have said no.
But my heart knew what my body did not, and honesty hour had come to quickly and left my brain stranded at my doorstep.
I have wasted too much of my time reciting prayers in my head begging you to feel the same way.
But I can feel the end coming a little too fast, and too much time has been burnt out
fantasizing about stories and stolen glances and first dances and funny instruments and random hellos and impromptu sessions with your guitar at the steps next to the tower.
I still don't know why your presence sets off fireworks under my skin, or why your smile has me burying my face beneath strands and strands of hair.
But I do know this-
Next week may be the last time our paths decide to cross, and if that's the case, that's just fine.
I'll see you when I see you.
But for now, thanks for stopping by.
Mar 2016 · 587
dichoto-monotonous
imara Mar 2016
you know sometimes i wonder whether i'm capable of feeling - whether there are moments that strike me as more than just a case of black or white. i'm always on separate sides of the dichotomy - right or left, up or down, happy or sad, good or bad. but it just gets so tiring because i wonder when it'll be my turn to reach my peak - my breaking point. but it never comes. it's always here or there and at the moment, i'm nowhere.
just me spitting out pieces of my late night thinking
Nov 2015 · 850
strangers
imara Nov 2015
are you there?
how i long to know what rests beneath
your salt and pepper hair.
that behind
those goofy spectacles,
those crinkled eyelids,
those faded irises,
is a vault –
a treasure trove of wisdom.
i have crossed the pacific ocean,
cruised through antarctic waters,
wearing your fingers
around my wrist.
and still,
i lack the tools
to decipher the riddle of your being.
you have built me a sanctuary –
but forgotten to leave the key
under the doormat.
so I wonder who you are.
i fear that your spectacles will shatter,
your eyelids will do what they are meant to-
to cover your irises,
let them
fade
and wither,
and die.
and still,
i will not know you.
Oct 2015 · 312
assumptions
imara Oct 2015
and in some moments, i swear - there are not enough exclamation points in the world to give justice to these bursting expletives.
Oct 2015 · 324
almost midnight
imara Oct 2015
there are moments when i imagine sitting in the centre of it all
moments when the ground can split open
or the skies can crumble
but i will not be shaken

i, along with today's reckless youth, will stand still
amidst falling skyscrapers
and flashing red lights
keeping a steady grip on tomorrow's time bomb

and when the hour comes
marking the end of this era
i will not take the easy way out
i will leap into the galaxy's black hole

and depart with a bang
taking the stars with me
and fashioning a constellation
into an emblem of this generation's conquests
Jul 2015 · 412
times like these
imara Jul 2015
when you find the time
to take me back
to times like these,
i will wait for you underneath the yellow oak tree.
i will sit beneath thousands of constellations,
and watch you paint dragonflies into the sky -
as if the colours splattered around your palette
were taken from the stars, themselves.
i will run against the midnight breeze,
and gaze ahead as your shadow wraps itself around mine.
i will keep a close eye on the moon
for fear of it fading too fast.
(i still believe it would not dare.)
and when the dawn shatters the night's blank canvas,
we will burn out quietly,
not with a bang
but with a whisper meant to be heard
only by those who dare
to listen.
I know I haven't written in a while but recent events have inspired me to come back, so here's a little picture my imagination painted for me.
Apr 2015 · 403
revelations
imara Apr 2015
it ended in a flurry
of falling feathers
and rising ashes.

and when the saints
had prayers dangling
like hangmen on their lips,

*it was from your mouth
that heaven drew
its sweetest sin.
funny how inspiration can come from the smallest of things. tried something new based on an emoji of a kiss.
Apr 2015 · 668
in transit
imara Apr 2015
perhaps we had fallen asleep on the train ride There-
now mountains rise where there once were skyscrapers.
an ocean floats where the ground once stood.
it almost looks to me like a ghost town
till i catch a glimpse of bright orange shoes thumping up and down the road-
crunching on the gravel-
flashing by like neon lights.
my breath clouds up my vision and the world outside looks much colder.
stepping outside, we are born again.

perhaps we had fallen asleep on the train ride There-
this is not There.
yet Here-
wherever this may be-
i find my eyes piercing through frosted glass,
adrenaline coursing through my lungs
like a shot of caffeine delivered straight to my brain.
i know now we are lost.
and still, I need no map to pave the way home.
it is Here-
where the soles that wander next to mine are as familiar
as the ground is not.
Here's what happens when you find yourself in Omi-Takashima instead of Kyoto after an hour-long train ride.
Apr 2015 · 542
rec.
imara Apr 2015
and for the first time,
your voice
is the only sound.
and still,
there is music.
thoughts while using a tape recorder for the first time. hit the red button to begin.
Apr 2015 · 798
an epitaph
imara Apr 2015
dig
your way
out of this black
hole and write to me
from the mountaintop.
A little something I found while browsing through my diary.
Apr 2015 · 829
a flag of white
imara Apr 2015
let the bridges crumble into ash and dust.
let the stars fear our brilliance.
let the rest of the world drown out what lies beyond
the barricade.
lay down your arms -
i am almost yours.
you need only to surrender.

— The End —