Poem: Surrender

Releasing this poem online as a dedication to New Ventures West PCC-X Cohort (2021): Congratulations on your certification and graduation.


Surrender

a voice I hear
calling for me
to return, to come home 
to myself, but

where is my Self; how can I return to it?
what is this Self; how can I know when I’m there?

with each ebb, each out-breath
        I allow myself to fall
        and slide
        down the shore

with each flow, each in-breath
        I allow myself to be swept
        and carried
        up the shore

allayed by these rhythmic splashes
I fight no more
allowing
accepting and receiving

our pulses harmonized
I am the lullaby
the world ushers me
home.


Splendid Imperfections

The clouds—
ever-changing—shape-shifters
gaining bulk then losing weight, then drifting high
above the atmosphere into the ether.
Imperfect beings made to perfection.
Imperfect
to any minds with no space
for fluff. It’s bound
to bump into someone
who sees it as imperfect,
deems it as imperfect.
But imperfect
belongs not to it—
a title, a label, put on it by another
who’s clouded in the mind.
A puff without integrity
or a billow of full potential?
As it glides across the sky—my pocket
of sky framed by the window—it boasts
its full glory, baring its shadows,
taking up space, un-
reservedly, un-
hurriedly, un-
apologetically filling
the sky, blanketing it.
How splendid this perfect being dons its imperfections.

Go on, announce your presence:
Roar and rain.

Letter To The Wounded Ones

To the wounded ones,

I write to you from the other side (if there were even sides to begin with.) But having been where I was, I am guessing that is how you might see me, as the other who will never comprehend your pain. Not wishing to see you wear a smile to dismiss me, I rather name it upfront. As the wise poet, Rilke, once shared, “Don’t think that the person who is trying to comfort you now lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes give you pleasure. His life has much trouble and sadness, and remains far behind yours. If it were otherwise, he would never have been able to find those words.”

Dear one, there really is light at the end of it all. It can come, if fortune permits, in the form of another who sees you and accepts you for who you are. Or it can come, with all the blessings you have already been bestowed, through you. You may be walking through darkness searching for a mirror to help you see the light you carry within, and you know what, the light you seek is in you right from the beginning. Yet, being the modern humans we are, we have been too used to seeking over there instead of here. Here, in you, do you see the light? Perhaps it is dim, faded, shying from the unfamiliar attention, but it is here.

You hold the power to heal your own wounds. You can seek support and help, but the healing is yours to do. You have to be willing to look—at your own light, and at where it hurts. Because dismissing or ignoring it does nothing, akin to putting a blindfold on yourself and insisting you see no wound. Yet, the throbbing persists. The occasional pangs in those serendipitous moments where tears wet your eyes and you know not why.

You need time to heal. But time does not heal. Time does not have the power, but you, my dear, you do. Reclaim your power, live your responsibility. Do not let how others see you direct how you see yourself. Seek your own truth, see your own light, then help them see you.

Nurse your wounds. Heal, and regain your wholeness. You are not alone. I am here doing the work with you.


I am a developmental coach who helps people embark on the journey towards healing and living a life true to themselves. I can provide you with the safe space and the guidance to do the Work, let’s have a conversation.

I never dared

I woke up from a nightmare, sobbing,
        smothering my cries with my blanket,
I never dared call for Mum.

I never dared tell her some girls on my school bus
        ganged up to taunt and scorn me.
I never dared tell her, one of them was a neighbour’s kid,
        that neighbour she smiles and greets in the lift.
I never dared tell her, a teacher chided me to reflect on my character
        in my unsuccessful attempt to borrow a piece of craft paper from my classmates.
        I was only eight, did I deserve such hate?
I never dared tell her about her colleague,
        “She lied! It’s not about the candy, I’m not greedy!
        She said she wasn’t going to friend me, and she was your friend.
        I…was scared.”
I never dared tell her why I acted out on one of our road trips,
        jealous of my cousin sitting on her lap those few hours.
I never dared tell her how shocked and afraid I was
        when I encountered the flasher, and how much I wished
        she’d pick me up at the bus-stop after that event.

I never dared tell her many things, afraid
        she wouldn’t take my side, afraid
        she’d shame me or be ashamed
        of me.

Then, she left.
Like me, she never dared tell
or ask for help.

I never dared cry to Dad.
I never dared tell him the first piano teacher I had gradually idled away
        during our lessons, and wasn’t teaching me much.
I never dared tell him another neighbour asked me to stop my piano practice
        so her daughter could get her afternoon nap after school.
        (Oh wait, I did let him know, jokingly,over a decade after I parted with the keys)
I never dared tell him of the nights I was trembling under my blanket, traumatised
        by the presence prying and staring in through my window slits.
I never dared tell him of the accident I was in, where the car was flung
        across four lanes of the highway, landing on its top.
        (With God’s mercy, I was carried out of the smashed metal, unscathed)
I never dared tell him how terrified I was of whom I was once engaged to
        and why I broke it.
I never dared tell him how upset I was when he disregarded my offer
        to invite his friends to my wedding.
        (I had wanted him to share his joy and pride.)

I never dared utter a word
        when my heart shattered,
        when I screwed up in life.
I wish I had.
I wish I felt safe.
I wish I was assured.
I wish it was different, and I
will make a difference, starting
from this piece—

I dare.

NO

One word, two letters;
the former with sharp edges, the latter,
a smooth, round body.
Paired with different punctuations,
each No its own entire world.

NO! with an exclamation—
outright rejection of what we don’t want,
the emphatic expression of our displeasure.
One of the first words uttered as a child;
short, easy, straight to the point as we push away
that disgusting broccoli or pea or medicine
our parents try to stuff into our mouths.

nowith trailing ellipses,
drags along uncertainty or worry,
a sign of holding…
back.

NO. Period—
stands firm and steady, resting in its own ground,
gently yet powerfully asserting its disagreement
with whatever came.

And of course, there are many more.

Matched with a comma, quickly followed by a But;
a combination often heard. The No in this trio is brief,
almost inaudible, swiftly propelling its energy into the But,
negating everything with the new proposition.

There’s also the semi-colon, a favorite
in academic literature, hinting there’s more
to the argument that’s coming, as demonstrated
in the preceding example.

NO—
how amazing this one word is.
What worlds might open and close
with this singular utterance?


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