Seeking Oblivion

I.

Some people try

to make good use

of magic

by choosing moths

over butterflies.

II.

I stick my tongue out,

and roll my eyes

in a nod to the riot inside,

and pretend to enjoy

a quiet life;

Not a word, not a fight!

©Aaysid

“When life gives you lemons, squirt someone in the eye.”
― Cathy Guiswite

Photo by Elle Hughes from Pexels

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A Little Daft

I.

What we cannot write,

Begins to write us instead,

And seldom does

A good job of it-

We sound even crazier

On paper.

II.

I respond to every rhetorical question,

And easily fall for dead metaphors,

I unsee the signs from the universe,

And getting jinxed is my latest obsesssion.

©Aaysid

“The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
Hunter S. Thompson

Photo by Jeswin Thomas from Pexels

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A Collaboration

I have been studying all my life, but I never had a proper study-spot. I was fine with studying in bed or on the floor until recently when I realised the importance of having a good studying atmosphere to keep things from getting boring. It began with me having a fireplace as my laptop’s desktop wallpaper, and white/pink noise blasting in my ears as I studied, and now I am obsessing over Ambience ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos.

I do not understand video animation and graphic designing, but a dear friend of mine, who is self-learning such software, has been experimenting with Ambience ASMR videos. She asked to feature my poetry in one of her latest projects, and I was more than happy to help. She walked me through the process, and I was taken aback by the complexity of it all. She works on a pretty basic laptop and it takes her a lot of time to make a sixty minutes video, but she finds it worth the trouble because she loves what she does. If you are a fan of such videos, please check out her channel, Cees Cosy Niche.

It feels good to support all forms of art and their creators. 🙂


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Not Rude

I had a perfect retort,

But I took a different road;

Held it all back,

And swallowed it whole.

I have a nasty heartburn

Ever since then,

And sharp words keep coming

Back into my throat!

©Aaysid

“No one has the right to be rude.”
Frank Sonnenberg, Listen to Your Conscience: That’s Why You Have One

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata from Pexels

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Eccentricity

I see him draped in a raven shawl,

Effortlessly being one with the night sky,

But I, on the contrary, am too out there,

Not merging with anything at all.

I may have to waste this tedious Spring away

Just to try once again in the Fall.

©Aaysid

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS from Pexels

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Noncommunicating

I often find myself stuck in the middle of the most boring conversations ever, and I am no longer able to mask my obvious discomfort, despite having an actual mask on my face! I fail to engage, so I stay quiet, patiently listening at times and zoning out at other times, mostly because I usually cannot relate to anything the other person is talking about. It is only when you get older that you begin to realise that you cannot keep spending your days listening to people and thinking, “No, I do not relate to that.” That is when you should decide not to listen to everything anymore and let your bubble get the stronger walls it deserves.

Here are my borderline inappropriate, conversation-killing responses to a few questions that people had asked me just at the end of their stretched-out halves of the conversations:

  1. I buy two pair of shoes per season and wear them out
  2. I have never been to that place you were talking about
  3. I am not friends with that many people, and we see each other about twice a year
  4. Sorry, I did not quite understand what you were talking about earlier
  5. Sorry, I have to leave, I am already late for a meeting
  6. No, I shop online
  7. I have a similar headache at the moment.

I am beginning to get tired, and I am pretty sure that people are getting tired of conversing with a silent person who keeps staring off into space and refuses to offer no insight whatsoever. Something must be wrong with me.

Since I am still obsessing over Fernando Pessoa’s poetry, a slightly relevant snippet from one of his poems from the book, I Have More Souls Than One translated by Jonathan Griffin, is in order:

“Yes, I am tired,

And ever so slightly smiling

At the tiredness being only this –

In the body a wish for sleep,

In the soul a desire for not thinking

And, to crown all, a luminous transparency

Of the retrospective understanding.

And the one luxury of not now having hopes?

I am intelligent: that’s all.

I have seen much and understood much of what I have seen,

And there is a certain pleasure even in the tiredness this brings us,

That in the end the head does still serve for something.”

Photo by Amir Esrafili from Pexels

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A Game for Two

Those little, dark, spider-like apparitions

That run away scared

Only when you

Have thoroughly prepared yourself

To not run away first,

Ruin the fun of it all;

When two begin to lose

At a game for two,

It gets layered-

A layer over layer of absurdities,

Until one of you

Backs away and apologises

For the moment

You had foolishly chosen

To lose to your own nightmares!

©Aaysid

“Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.”
Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

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A Burst of Happiness

Happiness bursts out of her

At not the right times,

And she tsk-tsks

Over the chemicals in her head

For being so weird,

But she forgets

That the wrong times in her life

Could be the right times

In someone else’s life,

And that happiness after all

Is ofttimes contagious!

©Aaysid

“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”
Gabriel García Márquez

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

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Not Lost in Translation

Sometimes you read something, and you cannot stop thinking about it afterwards. At least for a few days. I have finished reading a collection of poems by Fernando Pessoa called, I Have More Souls Than One, translated in English by Jonathan Griffin. There were a couple of poems in it that made me wish I knew Portuguese so that I could read the original versions of those poems. When a verse reads this beautifully tragic even in a language it was not penned in, how magical it must be in a language of its birth!

With this thought making rounds in my head, I wrote this poem today:

I have heard you talk,

And I have seen

What you have seen,

But I still don’t know

You at all;

We are worlds apart,

Words-that-we-speak apart,

But may not be apart

In your art.

Maybe if I could

Walk your walk

By becoming a part of what

You do with your pen,

I may still limp,

But I might not fall anymore.

©Aaysid

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

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Rained Upon

When the black ink rains

From the parchment sky,

A mist engulfs the ground.

It stains the unstained raven,

And leaves the mottled brown;

Such downpour seeks

To rewrite strange stories

In the old, disowned towns.

©Aaysid

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Jamais vu

As if bored

In its very meninges,

My brain has been creating

Artificial memory!

There are flashes

Of unfamiliar faces,

Strange places,

And of pathways that diverge

Never to converge,

Making me yearn

For déjà vu,

For I mind that I knew.

©Aaysid

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Brain Fog

I see you,

But I can’t see you.

It’s the brain fog,

It is one of those days.

You make a good point,

But I woke up

On the wrong side

Of the floor today,

Can you make it again

Any other day?

It looks like yesterday,

And like the day before,

And the day before it too.

Everything’s ablur,

But I am giving myself

Points for being here anyway;

I am sitting at your desk,

Mistyping passwords,

And I brought

Cardamom tea on a black coffee

Kind of day.

I wish I could

Restart this day,

But I am also not up for

Reliving today today.

©Aaysid

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

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Selfless-Love

Today on an online store application, I was greeted by an insanely-pink banner that had read, “You come first! Buy yourself something special this month.” I don’t know why, but it had made me sad. Maybe because it had seemed like an exploitative marketing strategy!

I find the concept of self-love/self-care a little unsettling. It is one thing to prioritise our mental and physical well-being, and accept ourselves for who we are, but the entire concept becomes this completely messy thing when in the name of self-love, we start spoiling ourselves and begin succumbing to narcissism. The world is already full of such people, there’s absolutely no need for more.

I think when it comes to self-love, it is wise to set boundaries, because of the way things are at the moment, more and more people are becoming intolerant, cannot stomach even the constructive criticism, and are becoming materialistic. By inhabiting our personal full-of-love bubbles, we do not feel like giving anyone a chance anymore. This does not seem right.

So if I see a banner somewhere that reads something like this,

“Hey there! Please use this month as an excuse to buy something special for someone you have not made contact with and surprise them by letting them know that you still think about them,”

I would be happy to oblige. 🙂

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

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Flipped Over

Another you

By day,

Flautist by night.

Briefly a song,

Now this.

Full moon,

Not a soul

To howl at it.

A white flag,

Phantom itch.

By the river

A sound’s amiss.

Never not that,

Always this.

©Aaysid

“When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction.”
Stephen King, Joyland

Photo by Steven John Pascua from Pexels

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Unlit

We have fallen many times.

We have so much to show for it;

There are minor cuts and bad gashes

But the light does not go through.

Horrified at the sight

Of such woefully broken doorways,

It keeps waiting for a proper gateway

While the darkness

Keeps winning the unwaged wars.

©Aaysid

“I’m your phantom dance partner. I’m your shadow. I’m not anything more.”
Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

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Following Suit

Whenever I get to know someone who seems to be everything that this world is not, I cannot help but wish to get to know their mom as well.

The way you move so selflessly

Through this unkind world

Says a lot about the kind of woman

Your mother must have been;

Someone who had engulfed flames

But had refused to sip on waterfalls

Until you had oceans of your own

Flowing through your backyard!

©Aaysid

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Too Distant

Someone who is only

a text message away

can still be too far away,

because the distance

that can be measured

in short units of words

might still be just as great.

©Aaysid

Photo by mahe haroutinian from Pexels

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Timebound

There I was

Confusing cycles with bursts

Of something new,

But life happened in spells,

Recurring, rewinding, replaying,

And pausing just before stopping

To begin again.

Here I am

Mistaking time for something

That keeps incessantly

Changing and taking away with it

Memories, dreams, and aspirations

To make room for things

To begin again.

There I’ll be

Seeing world for what

It shall hold

Apart from all that it shall not,

Gradually, calmly, and unhurriedly

Rolling along with it

To begin again.

©Aaysid

Photo by Mike from Pexels

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The Conceptual Us

I.

Poles apart. Not magnetic.

No sparks. One field.

Static charge. Fizzles out.

II.

On my mind. Like yesterday,

Today as well.

Preoccupied. There too,

Here as well.

No escape. Since ages,

Forever as well.

©Aaysid

“I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided.”
Fernando Pessoa

Photo by Jakub Novacek from Pexels

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What Your Heart Wants

Just imagine being on this floating rock in space,

With breathable air and spendable money,

But not being able to say a thing;

Not being able to communicate

About waterfalls and chocolates,

And other things of beauty

Worth marveling at,

And not being able to tell

What your heart wants.

Just imagine being on this sphere amongst the stars,

With palatable greens and treadable lands

But not being able to hear a thing;

Not being able to lend an ear

To ocean waves and thunderstorms,

And other sounds of nature

Worth falling for,

And not being able to listen to

What your heart wants.

Just imagine being here on this orb in heavens,

With squishable joy and palpable grief,

But not being able to feel a thing;

Not being able to sense

Cold air and warm sunshine,

And other fine textures

Worth taking in,

And not being able to make out

What your heart wants.

©Aaysid

Photo by stein egil liland from Pexels

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Off to a Wrong Start

The first (in)sane thought

that forms in my head

when I am half-awake

in the morning,

and smear jam

on the burnt bread,

is that of it being the night,

and I being back in my bed-

comfy, stretched-out,

tranquil and overfed,

and dreaming about the things

from the book

that I would have read,

before slipping out,

leaving all my worries

for the dead…

My productivity for the day

always hangs by a thread.

©Aaysid

Photo by Dương Nhân from Pexels

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Shoo!

I try to imagine you away

but you are too real

so there you stay;

it is awfully nice

in my rabbit hole anyway.

©Aaysid

“The only problem with seeing people you know is that they know you.”
Brent Runyon, The Burn Journals

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

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Muted

She had resorted

to muting conversations

right where they’d become

all about the people

who were not

the ones making them,

and now she cannot recall

the last time

she was talked to.

©Aaysid

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Your World

Some of your stories

feel strangely familiar

and my heart rejoices

even if it gets to play one

out in non-real-time.

I wonder why part of me

drifts away to find homes

in old coffee houses

that I have seen

only in your pictures?

©Aaysid

“Once upon a time there was what there was, and if nothing had happened there would be nothing to tell.”
Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot

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A Bonfire

It is a bonfire out here

and nobody was invited

but they are coming anyway,

bringing their own fuels for the fire;

I see a lyric in the ashes,

a dour sonnet suspended

in the forbidding smoke,

and something else going up

in the tiniest of flames,

just to leave charred sadness behind.

Together we look up

at the soot-covered sky,

our fires and fates entwined.

©Aaysid

“Isn’t everyone a part of everyone else?”
Budd Schulberg

Photo by Adonyi Gábor from Pexels

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Going Nowhere

I think I have missed another train of thought

because I am stranded at the station.

I have told myself to wait a bit,

but it has been under negotiation.

Should I get a refund on my one way ticket

for it never felt like a two way situation?

I had listened to you but had spaced out

during my half of the conversation.

There is an empty wooden bench

and it can serve as my workstation;

It seems like I shall be here for a while

and this might as well be my destination.

©Aaysid

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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Mirrored

No longer friends with vanity,

I became my own mirror;

I did not fix the minor cracks,

paid no heed

to the smudged fingerprints,

and did not wipe off

the dense misty tracks.

I stood back,

embraced the parallax

and my reflection’s imperfections.

©Aaysid

Photo by Mariana Blue from Pexels

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Scared

I wait outside your locked door,

drinking in the dank air

before I knock,

and I don’t take my jacket off

as I wait some more;

more than my fair share,

off the clock,

which I like to think shall pay off

but no one’s keeping score;

nobody seems to care.

Why keep stock

of a guy who could drop off

any minute, outside your door?

And it seems quite unfair

to sleepwalk

this far into the night to fall off

one’s mind – what would I ask for,

standing in my jacket there,

if the lock ever clicks open? I’d take off.

©Aaysid

“Ain’t many guys travel around together,” he mused. “I don’t know why. Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

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Not Real

I thought there was fire

In at least one of our hearts

Even though there never was smoke.

We kept seeing things

That weren’t really there

And hearing words nobody even spoke.

Then you said that I

Was like one of the charms

That had fallen from your bracelet and broke.

©Aaysid

Photo by Ellis Mbeku from Pexels

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Almost There

The world has not moved an inch

but somethings are in motion

and it seems insane

to live with the terrible nausea

that subsides only when the medicine

hits your cubital vein.

You talk the talk making ripples

in the placid waters

that on the surface remain,

and your heart looks like a wildflower-

it wilts in autumn, fades in winter,

blooms only when it rains.

There must be a cure for it somewhere

for nothing (this strange) lasts forever,

not even the chronic pain.

©Aaysid

“It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.”
John Guare

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

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Showers

It sometimes rains

inside my brain,

falls hard and strong

and lasts for days,

but when it ends

is when I get

something that makes it

worth the pain;

too many puddles

that I can jump in,

over and over

and all over again.

©Aaysid

Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez from Pexels

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Hush Up?

We could stay quiet

but we seldom do.

We are like fine dust

that exudes invisibly

from the seasonal crops

during the nights

of the Harvest Moon,

triggering old asthmas.

©Aaysid

“It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Photo by Pierre Sudre from Pexels

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The Perfect You

You remind me of snow,

precipitation at its finest,

and subdued Winter sun

at the same time.

You remind me of things

that can coexist in peace

and still feel complete

when they’re alone.

©Aaysid

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Escapism

When I am feeling overwhelmed with life

I find myself fixating on quiet, little (un)happenings,

Beautiful despite their apparent insignificance,

Such as spaces between the words in a book,

Post-lunch dip on the busiest of workdays,

A longing for solitude even in good company,

And daydreams about being anywhere

But wherever you are at the moment;

The little somethings that may not be nothing after all.

©Aaysid

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

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All Book-ed

There is so much new out there

I do not want to engage anymore,

and tonight there is nothing

that I would like to do more

than to sail away on a paperboat

that I can fashion out of pages

from books I’ve read before.

©Aaysid

“If you truly love a book, you should sleep with it, write in it, read aloud from it, and fill its pages with muffin crumbs.”
Anne Fadiman

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Awake

I.

Still a thousand blinks away

from calling it a day

and always wide awake anyway:

I bet sleep is friends with those

who neither wait for it,

nor ask for it to stay.

II.

I lay awake because I cannot stop

thinking about the black cat

I had crossed paths with today-

I hope he is okay.

©Aaysid

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

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Aloft

The world appears so small

as she looks down from her tower;

she has resolved to stay up there!

Those who wish to be where she is

just so that she could be brought

to where they are,

better start looking for a ladder

or something else altogether,

because she believes

that it is nothing but fair

if this Rapunzel does not want to

let down her hair!

©Aaysid

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Nonjudgmental

I try not to judge people,

but it is nearly impossible

to not form an opinion

about a few things

that they sometimes

fail to pull off —

I saw a guy

who had his hair pulled back

by a blue headband;

the guy was a person,

I had successfully stopped

myself at that,

but somehow my faith

in all headbands has been lost!

©Aaysid

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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Short Insights

I.

It no longer feels weird.

To share the bed.

With textbooks.

A constant presence.

Not friends, never were.

Neither the opposite.

Just there. Every night.

II.

Six in the evening.

Already.

I am half-done.

With everything.

My back is all done.

With me.

III.

I stopped going out.

At night.

We fell out.

My shadow and I.

IV.

It has rained.

Enough already.

It is dead.

The cloud above my head.

The forecast, once again,

incorrect.

©Aaysid

“The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory.”

Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory

Photo by fotografierende from Pexels

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Five Little Things I Know Now

I know now that to get by

you should have questions

but none of those nagging questions

should begin with a why.

I know now that to get through

to someone who believes that you

are not worth listening to,

you have to believe that they aren’t too.

I know now that those

who only show you their tears,

could be seen laughing with the ones

they actually hold close.

I know now that to sleep

even a little at night

you should part ways with the memories

you do not want to keep.

I know now that to freely breathe in

the air outside your windows

you have to learn to make peace

with the stagnant air within.

It is time to buy another planner to put atop the other empty planners on my desk.

May you find countless reasons to smile in 2021.

Happy New Year!

©Aaysid

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For Those Who Are Away

I hope at night

cool breeze rushes

through your hair,

crisp air wraps itself

around your aching feet,

the starry sky

above your sleepy head

tries to keep you up

when the random soft sounds

in the background

are lulling you to sleep,

and I wish you’ll dream

the sweetest of dreams;

I hope when we’ll meet

this time around

you would tell me

how great everything

had been for you.

©Aaysid

Photo by Marek Bojczuk from Pexels

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A Disappearing Act

I could have used an excuse

to disappear for a while,

to watch life go by,

leaving me unperturbed

in its wake.

I had never thought

that the tables would turn;

I watched life disappear

before I could even try

to pull a disappearing act,

leaving me stranded

in its wake.

©Aaysid

Photo by Nick Bondarev from Pexels

“Hang in there, as better times are ahead.”

Steven Magee

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Damp

Two whirlpools in one puddle of a face

gazing through a wet film

into an aquatic abyss

through many a water years,

counting rainfalls, sleet,

snow and hailstorms,

remain soakingly unaware

of a swiftly approaching drought

that may arrive with a promise

to set me free from the shackles

of long-drawn-out precipitation,

replacing them with fetters

of short-term dehydration instead

around my waterlogged ankles!

©Aaysid

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Impersonal

Something felt right.

We did not need a person.

Our own person. Us.

The rescuer and the rescuee.

One person. Same person.

Both quit. No person.

Something feels wrong.

©Aaysid

“It is one thing to lose people you love. It is another to lose yourself. That is a greater loss.”
Donna Goddard, Waldmeer

Photo by Johannes Rapprich from Pexels

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Round-ups

I used to love yearly round-ups. The “top-tens” of literally everything. I’d listen to those over the radio and would be glued to the television screen on the new year’s eve to watch the shows featuring such lists. I no longer am a huge fan of those but I feel like making lists of all the fun things that I have done this year. They’ll probably fall under three categories apart from that one big list of “Twenty Little Things of Beauty”, which I am finding quite difficult to compose this time around, unlike the last year. Anyway, I am sharing the list of top-ten movies and TV shows that I have watched this year (these weren’t the latest releases but I had watched them for the first time this year). Since I know how boring such lists are for many people, therefore, I shall try to keep mine as brief as possible:

10. Glee (TV Show)

I have discovered some really good music through this show.

9. Bandersnatch- Black Mirror (TV Show)

I liked the concept of an interactive TV show.

8. Instant Family (Movie)

It was sweet and fun to watch.

7. The Fundamentals of Caring (Movie)

I like road trip movies in general and this was a funny one.

6. Clueless (Movie)

Finally found out what the hype was all about!

5. The Haunting of Hill House (TV Show)

I had finished the entire series in one day. Pretty good scares!

4. The Umbrella Academy (TV Show)

I loved the second season more than the first one because it was funnier and the characters had more depth.

3. I am Thinking of Ending Things (Movie)

This movie was something else altogether. It messed me up. In a good way somehow.

2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (TV Show)

This show has become for me what Friends is for so many people.

1. Room (Movie)

I couldn’t stop thinking about this movie for days. I had immediately placed the request for the book it is based on at my local bookstore. Hauntingly beautiful!

Happy Celebrations, everyone! May you and your loved ones stay safe. 😊

©Aaysid

Photo by Ann Nekr from Pexels

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Out Cold

I am braiding in my hair

spectral moments out of

someone else’s life,

and I look like the salt

that has been left inside

a tiny shaker for too long,

and bouncing off the walls,

floorboards, and the ceiling

is this strange, little feeling;

am I really here?

©Aaysid

Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding from Pexels

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Tunnels Before the Lights

I am never not baffled by the amount of hate us realists get! We are not choosing to be miserable and trying to spread hopelessness. We are just trying to look at the bigger picture and willing to do whatever it takes to set things right. Even if it means being uncomfortable for a while. The lights at the end of our tunnels work just fine. We can see them well but we can also see the tunnels that we have to go through pretty clearly. 😃

I shall drink out of a vase

without throwing

the wilted flowers away,

and I shall poke

a lonesome cloud

above my groggy head

with a stick that I shall fashion

out of everyday things;

I shall sing myself

to sleep but I shall not sleep

a wink, and I shall beat

some eggs and feel bad

for the whites,

and the bright yellows

outside my window

that I can see

but cannot touch,

at least for a little while,

and this thought shall bring

an offhand smile

that I shall not smile

in hopes of it growing

into a big grin one day!

©Aaysid

Photo by Johannes Rapprich from Pexels

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Imperfectly Normal

I. Extrapolated

I lose you

on the x-axis while I look

for you on the y-axis

and I keep falling off

the tangent line;

our lives make for

one strange looking curve.

II. Me, You and Them

Talking to you

I summon a few

clouds of blue

to rain.

Writing to me

you forget that we

should probably be

staying sane.

Talking about us

they make such a fuss

and causing, thus,

much pain.

III. Zero Gravity

What if my centre of gravity

starts to interfere

with that of the skies and the seas

and can no longer be explained

by the proven equations,

would I still exist?

Would you?

©Aaysid

“Why is it,” he said, one time, at the subway entrance, “I feel I’ve known you so many years?”
“Because I like you,” she said, “and I don’t want anything from you.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

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Wistfulness

The things that you see

in your daymares are even worse

than the ones

in your nightmares at times,

if not outrightly

then in the grand scheme of things.

Beaded scarves, raindrop earrings

and stiletto heels that look

regal in the silver moonlight;

I am scared of anything

that costs more than I make,

I am terrified of anything

that can outlast me.

©Aaysid

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

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Unconvinced

To be entirely here is absence

from somewhere else

and a thought this daunting

keeps me from being here

completely at times,

and I often wonder

if somewhere else wants me there

or if this place right here

could use my absence?

©Aaysid

“I mean, maybe I am crazy. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don’t want to be sane.”
Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

Photo by Anni Roenkae from Pexels

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