they say tomorrow might be the waves i cannot see
the sheer anticipation of what might have been
we’ve grown so old from heartbreaks so young a dream
we’re so vast a universe but no words to swarm in
this existence hurts my skin it hurts more everytime it doesn’t bleed
here in this dark place everything is shameful and unforgiven but
there’s a rabbit hole down here and there’s you and i and the world disappears we need to be somewhere else
but here we are, bloated up
and shrunk down into an instagram post
she was nine, he was on tv,
she’s fifteen, he was already on his own, then twenty
twenty one, he was old before
his time, “where did you guys meet?”
I don’t know I don’t know
walmart, maybe, at midnight, he ran out
of pop tarts, but he said
at a party in London, too much gaps in
what we’re saying. yes but I have
no sense of time
and space. I meant we. we’re just good that way. of forgetting.
of forgiving again. it’s toxic, I know, this infatuation
don’t look. don’t look where we are. we are too old now. we are stale
from same old stories. “fame tore them apart,” …not true, not true!
he wakes up then decades
sprawling across and in and out of
his bedroom walls
she grows fonder of distance, she took a step
one day and has been running
eversince. “what an unstoppable force
she is!” was. was.
he wants her to wait but never quite saying
it right. she keeps running and she lets him
watch how far how fast her steps could go
how her jaw her fist clenched. she’s got no time
to spare, “but she has no sense of time,”
he was so young, “but he was old before his time.”
I dream you still. And there I will be.
You don’t know my name. This is the past. And us is just a butterfly effect that didn’t happen. We are apart and at peace, just as before your eyes met mine, before our hands brushed and our words hushed. Before our secrets born into judging eyes. This is before everything.
And I am telling you this so you will search for me no more.
“I Want These Dreams Inside of Me”, When I My Own Daughter
Now we will count to twelve,
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
“Keeping Quiet”, Pablo Neruda
these stories, they come to me in dreams the first time I fell asleep since they told me you’ve fallen into flatline
I dream you
sometimes in colours, green and oranges, purples and blues, and not bleak nor dark, we are not in the shadows
in these dreams, our children they’re born. they’re not sucked to death, they’re not stillborn nor bled away
they live and we give
names to their innocent loving faces
the eldest has my eyes, her brother has your smile
in these dreams we’re not bitter
we’re not numb from pain
in these dreams you are standing tall
little daughter dances on your devoted steadfast feet
her brother clung to your arms, his head rests on your secure and sturdy shoulder.
he’s falling into another dream.
in these dreams, I dance with you under the chuppah
and you recite a long vow, a song we used to hum
before we went to sleep
On birthdays that are wiser,
drips on honeydew holy water new
icy breeze colourful rainbow rain, rain on me
don’t bite the bliss on an empty stomach
but ignore ignore, red flags or compliance
so wobbly a place you barely stand
filled with cracks you’re bound for heartbreaks
here we are and here i am
you go be you, i’ll stay and pretend
a friend that is not till the end
a ship that is slowly sinking
quietly drift drift like the wind softly
gone and forgotten, i’ll be
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.
101 Sonnets, Pablo Neruda
It was after dinner. You were talking to me across the table about something or other, a greyhound you had seen that day or a song you liked,
and I was looking past you over your bare shoulder, at the three oranges lying on the kitchen counter next to the small electric bean grinder. which was also orange, and the orange and the white cruets, for vinegar oil,
all of which converged into a random still life, so fastened together by the hasp of color, and so fixed behind the animated foreground of your talking and smiling, gesturing and pouring wine, and the camber of your shoulder
that I could feel it being painted within me, brushed on the wall of my skull, while the tone of your voice lifted and fell in its flight, and the three oranges remained fixed on the counter the way stars are said to be fixed in the universe.
Then all the moments of the past began to line up behind that moment and all the moment to come assembled in front of it in a long row, giving me reason to believe that this was the moment that rush out of sight into darkness behind the eyes.
Even after I have forgotten what year it is, my middle name, and the meaning of money, I will still carry in my pocket the small coin of that moment minted in the kingdom that we pace through every day.
This Much I Do Remember, Billy Collins
a ring on your plate when i cooked you
eggs, our years apart summarised into one morning
of jars and jars, bottled up feelings
of you looking into me, looking into something
of me saying things without a sound
our lives in suspended compartments
bubbles of cliches against time voices people
it is kind, it is patient and it is all you need but
it doesn’t conquer all, it’s never the answer
my love for you, insincere and vague.
everybody wants a piece of that fame
you bring to the table
so they put you on a silver plate at first
but then they feel it’s too fancy for
a hollywood roadkill like you so
they move you to
a worn out wooden cutting board
slice you up real nice into tiny bits of pieces
each to their own but
you’re there for everyone, suit yourself!
chew you up real slow
saving every flavor splattered on
the walls of their mouths their gums they lick
their teeth and lips everytime they got
that fancy exposure
they swallow you and finger the rest
of your blood
on their knives
and I sit there watching
thinking if I should get
of that fame
but I am not
made for the public eye
I spill your tea on
this fame of yours
my brain, should you
know what I want, it’s
your crimson blood
I want that lush
I want that rush
when i you and you,
“Mirrors”, Letters to Sylvia, 2019
i can never understand how
the universe works; or how you
expand like the milky way spreading
in space i can only stare from
a good distance.
“…there are clouds in these dreams and i am flying hard between ashes,
did you not get burned at stakes?
there are words in these dreams but I am not one saying them,
to swallow alone is pain. to breathe, a sin.
not one word out but here are letters for when you wake up,
she said, you will tell them how to say it out loud,
even with tears in their eyes. tell them.
and so I write.”
Get this book here.
it’s always messy down here in your basement
where memories go to a happy place
they say i’m in love with love
but i never knew how to flaunt it
in between unsaid words and
staggering poetry so let me write it simple:
i want you, life, serene and tender
i want you, love, without going so much on a bender
Right before our parting, mother sat me down in a meadow. She apologetically held my hands then placed a flower crown on my hair.
She said, “Remember this, love, for time is a loop. You will come back for me.”
Little did she know, time was in denial.
So suddenly as I realised this, she turned into a montage of old photographs between flashing lights.
I saw her,
the staggering girl between
I saw her vague fingers inside
his feathered glory,
such indifferent beak cloud,
white rush oh there there
brute brute blood!
here’s burning roof and tower
the centre cannot hold,
things fall apart…
Phrases in W. B. Yeats’ poems “Leda and the Swan” and “The Second Coming”, in this part of my book, are rearranged in an attempt of deconstruction. WB Yeats poems are an integral and essential part of my book, When I, My Own Daughter, available here.
Photo Credit: Alessio Albi
i’ve been carving memories on dry walls
four seasons of loneliness and you came bearing your own
stories of a little girl named Lara
her face her smile her every breath you inhale her
a picture perfect deep into your soul
she exists to you in ways that I could not
she has a smile that’s similar to mine, you said
her hair is golden like the sun,
this little ballerina and her pink tutu
and when she cries you cup her tears in your palms letting
them soak into the lines of your hands that once
a fortune teller told you, you wouldn’t make it to forty,
that you would be entangled in a story like none other
she said I would write them for you so daddy’s little girl
could forever lives in rhymes…
in bedtime stories and lullabies…
some days I got wildflowers
of my mouth
down my swollen chest
and there I saw the sea,
and sand in your eyes,
of all the things
we’ve left behind.
a raft of hope floating at sea
but the water knows loneliness too well
and how you and i swim deep into changing currents
oh how we used to row row our boat roughly
to the unseen… and so i hurl my heart
i’d stay drowned so the water will feel me
and consume me, aren’t we all
liquids with cold cold hearts,
should we not come home already
dust to dust?
but the sun oh the sun comes
and how i long to bob out and float
and sway with the waves, they’ll find you
the wind whispers
what are we without the ocean?
who are we without this distance?
day one. dark coffee, abandoned building, a pile of classics: joyce, dante, zola. day two. endless driving, darker coffee, my heart palpitated in halts. tiny déjà vu. day three. turned off instagram(s). lay around on the grass. napping. dreaming. a land faraway. day four. wrote about the ocean. so blatantly. mundane and irresponsible. called you to tell you i did it. you paused too long. i hung up. day five. long walks to the orchard. long walks back. hours on treadmills. more coffee. irish. my heart exploded. day six. wrote sonnets. iambic pentameter. bad. really really bad. read them to you. you said don’t hang up just yet. day seven. beachy sunrise. pancakes overdone. overrated poetry books. blogged mean things about you. you read it and kissed me. the end.
follow my instagram for more.
dear me dear me
i checked you off my bucket list, turning you from a dream to reality
giving ways for envious eyes staring when i held you with me
you’re so pretty i could not resist this temptation, the poetry i’d be
but destiny is as cruel as it can be
i broke you to pieces, a whole again i might never be
dear me dear me
this is what life tried to tell me, nothing pretty comes for free
they keep telling “you’re milk and honey”
and that “the truth will set you free”
but i know better than to let these demons be
taking up space in between deceit and sincerity
when all i ever wanted was to go back being me
dear me dear me
being pretty never comes for free
thank you Ayas, for letting me write this with you.
If words were breath and phrases life… I am rarely moved by other peoples’ poetry. It takes a truly unique writer to penetrate below my natural cynicism. I tell you all: this is the one book of poetry, the first in a long time, to feel authentic, brave and sincere. I LOVE THIS BOOK!
(Martha Humphreys, Amazon.com)
Within these pieces, you will find so much raw emotion and talent. The ink on these pages will soak into your skin and claw into your skull. You will never forget reading such a powerful book. Maia is destined for greatness.
How do you describe a book as an experience? Letters to Sylvia is not just flattery words knitted together in a string of poems. It is a journey you want and need to embark. It is a sigh at the end not wanting to get off that plane of emotions. This is not just a book. It’s an experience. Read, woman!
This book was just like one of those Sunday afternoons when you just don’t want to do nothing but sit down and take a walk down the memory lane. This book reeks of nostalgia and heartbreak. My personal favourites were Period ( this one left me gutted and awestruck), Adieu ( made me sigh) and Feminine Mystique ( this one BROKE MY HEART). And I loved the fact that the poet somehow wrote it as an ode/ dedication to Sylvia, my all time favourite. The only thing that I would like to change would be the fact that it was just 85 pages long. I absolutely loved the tone and the flow so I guess I would’ve loved it a tad bit more if it included a few more poems!
Get this baby here.