Mobbed

They came with knives, and they came with guns

They shot my heart, and they pierced my lungs

They ripped the curtains and tore the rugs

I called it torture, but they called it love

They said, it helps to set you free

Don’t know who they helped, but it wasn’t me

Their words were lies, some common thread

Spun by men who are long dead

And they called me a ‘stupid girl’

Who didn’t know how to face the world

Well, I’ll show them, I told myself

As I wiped the blood off from the shelves

And saw the books unscathed beneath

The most powerful weapon I could finally unleash

Court of Angels

From up on high I see their lies

Wisps of air from worlds passed by

The people speak, but I don’t hear

They live their lives like I’m not here

I judge their hearts, their love , their hate,

The things they fail to appreciate

And when they die, the scales decide

The strength and value of their lives

Some go to heaven, others to hell,

Which one is better, I cannot tell.

I’ve never been to either one

I just watch lives dance in the sun

And judge them when the time is ripe

And guide them to walk into the light

Angel of Death

Deep in the night, I float through the halls,

The Angel of Death, by some I am called,

My thoughts are a dream, and a misty gaze coats

Every glance, every look; the dim light turns morose

Wherever I go, death seems to follow

The bitterest truth, though it’s not easy to swallow

Deep in the bowels of a hospital ward

Or in my own bed, gripping the headboard,

I hear its soft growl as it prowls through the air

Seeking its prey, seeking to cause despair

Such is the life of my shadow, my friend,

My one true constant, a beloved life’s end.

So be wary of my presence, lest you yourself find

Your Life and Death inseparably intertwined

I don’t try to do it, but it’s a mistake I repeat

So run while you can, lest Death your presence seeks

Mute

Your words are toxic, their meaning, obtuse,

So I turn down the volume, and put you on mute

You’re a waste of my time, hate the air that you breathe,

So I leave you behind, searching for some relief

Will you ever stop speaking? Words like yours don’t last

They’re lost in a memory. What’s past is past.

And you’re past, I know, but I still can’t move on

Though your voice stopped, your words hurt; you’re not really gone

Asylum

I run the halls, slam against the walls,

Pretend that I can’t hear their calls

They’re everywhere, they’re in my head

They’ve buried me, but I’m not dead

I’m freer now, free from their lies,

Free to run straight, not pushed aside

They can’t touch me, I’m out of reach

But I hear their words. They’re haunting me.

The past is past, but it lives on

In every thing that I do wrong

I was lost in love, fell so far I drowned,

And when I awoke, they tied me down

They taught me things I never knew

And I was scarred when they were through

I didn’t want their two-faced hugs

I only wanted to be loved

But they didn’t care, and now I run

I don’t pay mind to anyone

I break down doors and pull my hair

I hear their voices everywhere

They let me go, said I was free,

But didn’t really let go of me

And I’m not bitter, no, I’m insane

Trapped forever in their crazy game

Nature’s Fury

Nature’s fury falls from the sky

So many see it, but none know why

Why does it roar, and why does it scream?

Why does it come, and what does it mean?

Why does it hurt, and why does it kill?

If it’s so deadly, then why does it thrill?

Why does it flash so brightly in black?

Why does it pass, and never look back?

Nothing Short of Gods

The eternal flame, which lights their eyes,

Flickers to dark as they fall from the skies

Cloud Nine is dreamy, but none stay long

Dreams are for the lucky, and we don’t belong

So it’s back to below, with the turmoil and tears,

Where wrinkles and greys are a sign of the years

We could live forever, but we wouldn’t dare

We’ve fallen from heaven. Why would we stay here?

But there’s a power to behold, which lights us inside

We’re not to be trifled with. Don’t push us aside.

Though we’re not fit for heaven, you’ll still watch us in awe

Soon enough you’ll see, we’re nothing short of gods.

Notes on Editing

Over the years, I’ve encountered a variety of ways to edit. Writers mould their own personal editing style, but it never hurts to try something new, especially if you’re stuck or looking for a new perspective. Here are a few of the ones I feel stand out.

 

  1. The Standard: Your typical editing style. Write a draft. Edit #1 = second draft. Edit #2 = third draft. Going from start to end each and every time.
  2. The Modified Standard: Same as the standard, but with a break (ranging from 1 month to 1 year) between drafts. I’d recommend 1-2 months, with other projects built in to truly make it feel like a break. This can give you a much-needed “refresh” and allow you to look more critically at your project with fresh eyes.
  3. The Reader: Read as if you are a new reader; don’t edit. Take notes on the side: plot holes, character development. Things that your average reader would note. This is good for looking at the big picture, and not getting caught up in specific wording or sentence construction.
  4. The Google Doc: A haphazard reviewing system, where chapters and paragraphs are not edited in order. For the chaotically-inclined.
  5. The Absentee: One draft for the win! I mean it. Don’t edit. It worked for William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. (You may also need to confine your writing periods to midnight to four AM over a period of six weeks, but I’ll leave that to your discretion).
  6. The Hairbrush: Possibly the most time-consuming, but my personal favourite. Edit from the start after every addition. So, from the beginning of a novel after every chapter, from the beginning of a chapter with every paragraph, from the beginning of a poem with every line. Very, very time-consuming, but it lets you work out kinks and plot-holes as you go. Think about passing a hairbrush through a particularly tangled knot of hair. Takes a few tries, but you get through.

A Difference of Tongues

I hold the hand of a frightened man

As he asks me questions I don’t understand

¿Qué pasa aquí? ¿Qué van a hacer?

The other patients point, whisper, and stare

The hospital’s busy for a midnight on call

We dodge carts and nurses as we rush through the halls

But when we arrive, we find the OR packed

They’ve been briefed on the accident: two dead on impact

The patient we have speaks not a word of English

Nor any other language which I can distinguish

But I can taste his fear, it’s a contagious thing,

I look all around, try to think of something

When a girl approaches; she’s no older than twenty

By her scrubs she’s a student, of which we have many

So I don’t know her name, or her year, or her role,

But she takes the patient’s hand, gentle and slow,

And whispers, Hola, señor. Me llamo Maria.

Está en el hospital. Necesita la cirugía.

The patient calms at her words, as if they came from an angel

His vitals relax into something more stable

I draw up medications and lay out the surgeons’ knives

Adjust the bed height and the overhead lights

But a few words were all he needed for comfort to be had

A familiar sound amid chaos was the best sedative we had

Sodom and Gomorrah

With bound hands I walk through Sodom and Gomorrah

The graveyard of innocence, sanity’s diaspora

The deviant desolation, where sinners rule strong

And the impious implore you to blur right and wrong

The impenitent sin through which I now wade

Lets me drown in agony, leaves no chance to evade

The pressure, the pain, the stench of sin, and the fire,

Where virtue is forbidden,  replaced with molten desire,

In brimstone and fire, they burn, turn to ash

While I cower in chains from their merited backlash

I still try to stay clean, amidst the fire around,

But I falter and fall, licking blood on the ground

A hapless waif I wander, millennia from home,

Trapped in others’ squalour, in which I now roam