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Poetry Month: PAUSE


my neighbour was

a linguist, and an

english professor

she taught me

and my brother

eighty five ways -

how to transform

a sentence,

basically eighty

ways to communicate

with a set of words

figures of speech,

tenses, voices,

punctuations, conjunctions,

interjections, pauses,

simple, compound,

and complex

she'd teach us after

our school hours,

and requested us

to stay late,

for homework,

till her husband dozed off

sometimes she'd cook extra

and bribe us to stay,

by a dictation test,

or an 800 word essay

as i grew up, i understood

the daily case of onomatopoeia,

every night across the hall,

a happily married oxymoron

and bruises under her shawl.

it took years for her

to build her stance,

build her voice

i asked my mother

was there more to it

than just a choice?

why she didn't speak up

at any given stage?

and as a kid i wondered

she could have

slammed the door,

and said the

same thing in eighty five

different ways! .


-i have learned to

live some life

in pauses

between moments

and things

in between your

aged books

with bookmarks stained

by the bottoms of

coffee cups;

in the folds of your

dirty duvet

sitting inside a

little laundry basket on a

warm sunny weekend;

in the momentary silences

between the

subtle slaps

of your feet against

cold, hardwood floors;

between the change of

traffic lights

and your

foot, gently pressing

down on the gas;

between all commas

the semicolons, dashes

and ellipses in the

poetry you read

to me every night;

between the rise

and fall of your

chest, each

blissful breath

i hear;




when i say

your name

and you say



A sentence lay before me

Not flat, but embossed

Wanted to make small talk

Bewildered I said, go on

You're either trailing dots

Or overwhelmingly exclamatory

Not rooted, removed from reality

If I grow big, babbling into three lines

I semicolon instead

Segment bygone and foreboding text

Nestle into present and reflect

Engage in commas

Pause not stutter

Silence isn't junk

Brooding agony though, is bitter

Draft closures for self

Like my full circle stops

Needn't you always be submerged in company

Like Soliloquies of mine

Are in parentheses

Let them not walk over you

I quote unquote to make a point

You be emphatic and defiant too

Dismantle this "good girl" cloak

Forward slash others opinions

But append question marks

De-program your conditioning

Subscribe to logic and ask

Now I will set in stone

But you essay a trial

Listen to those muffled dreams

Pure, fair, sincere, devoid of denial


MEDITATION (To engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness)


Let the air flood your airways and fill your

Lungs with gratitude while the morning

Gushes forth a gentle aurora. Let

The birds coat your ears with harmony and

The trees brush your senses with frankincense

Like some holy grail waiting to unfold

And present your face to the heavens. Let

The flowing rivers unclutter your mind

And flood your palms like some heavenly

Blessing pouring into earth wishing you

A day of wonder and happiness

Cleansing your thoughts kicking out the dirt like

Some freshly peeled orange waiting to taste

The core


i’d gotten too comfortable

with my 20 minute releases

punctuating my day with

skip intros and new seasons

so when you walked in on me

making me pause at minute 13

i could hear myself groan

man, the episodes are always

better in a flow

there are no bookmarks

for great shows

and i think i wanna love you

but my mind’s used to pattern

preparing every night for

that timely personal attack

even the jokes in my mind

have forgotten the laughter track

and before i could ramble on

you looked at my screen

took a drag and sat beside me

asked me to fill you up

on how it all started

and in that moment

i realised you were going to see

the show from my memory

and i’d get to relive

all my favourite moments

you’d hate the guy i hated

because that’s how i’d state it

and in the next season

when the old woman eventually

gets the arc she deserves

we would both scream

oh my god yes finally

as i went from season 1, 2

catching you up to 3

i saw you smiling at me

as if this verbal version

was better than the real deal

alright fine you found a way

to make it work

we’ll wait it out together

until season 4 shows up


all your life you’ve believed / that poetry comes easily to you / and you cannot deny it / it’s true / all your observations are dutifully noted down / for later metaphorical conversion / the syntax in each poem sits just right / in the plate of your mouth / and once the words begin welling out they continue / until your gut chimes the bell / and so you’re left wondering / why this exercise has become so taxing / why it feels constantly as if something has hooked your heart / but cannot wrench it past your throat and out of your mouth / and of course the answer lies / in taking a pause / except that all your life you have striven to impress / and cannot surrender now / so close to the end / and so you think of all the brave things you have done / you can only recall a few / but you will not mention them in this poem / lest you sound like a braggart / and by now you have convinced yourself / that this isn’t entirely not a poem / and that you can successfully end it without feeling / too foolish or guilty / but feeling a tad postmodernist, undeniably


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