list poetry

A LETTER TO EVERY OLDER SIBLING OUT THERE:

i. You don’t have to be perfect the first time. Or the next. Or the time after that. There are a million ways to fail at what you do. There will always be a reason why they still look up to you.

ii. Stop looking at your hands like they are made of papier-mâché. They will not melt just because you haven’t found the right way to keep yourself up on top of supporting your siblings too. It is enough to marvel at the beauty of how every piece of you holds everything together to make your family bigger.

iii. Most rough days will evaporate. You might not even catch a glimpse of them scattering through the air. Sisters and brothers have a way of licking wounds without ever looking at them. Remember to acknowledge it every now and then. Sometimes the bleeding stops where the pain chooses to stay.

iv. Proximity will always be taken for granted. You will miss them when they are one delayed flight away and not reachable through a hall separating bedroom doors. Indulge in shared seconds now when you can.

v. What you do is important. Who you are matters. Just as much as parents and pets and life partners and social circles and a career and a future. You are essential to the equation for a fuller definition of their happiness. Don’t forget you exist for more than the sandbox years when they were just another hog to the toys. Or fight to pick. Or lesson to teach. Or wisdom to learn. Or person to drive. Or confidant to trust. Or kid to love. They are with you for the long run. Keep them with you always.
—  A letter to every older sibling out there
Aries: I envy you. I envy your courage, your stupidity and your childishness. Maybe you’re asking “Why?” Well, wouldn’t it be beautiful if we were all children at heart, like you? Like seeing things so horrible yet still making corny jokes? Like telling your feelings, like running until your feet hurt? Like purity, like innocence mixed with knowledge? You have experienced the world, you have experienced life. And yet, you still stand here. Brave and tall. As if to say “I am not afraid of life. I am not afraid to live.”

Taurus: I will always associate you with flowers and colours. With lilies and roses and blood oranges. I will always associate you with fruit and red-green-yellow. We will speak in colours, talk in words others won’t understand. With red-grey sand and blue-green eyes. An encouraging nod, a hug with clasping hands. Words left unspoken simply ‘cause they were never meant to be said, they were meant to be. They were meant to be. Plucking petals like a grade schooler playing games about love. Holding a magnifying glass over your head, and I could not find a flaw. I just saw you. I saw you.

Gemini: While you drink in the melodies of everyone’s laughter. The ghosts find a new home inside your body. A facade of performance, masking out true emotions. While the hallways turn vacant and your ghosts shut the doors. The voices leave the room empty, the emptiness in your chest weighing like a brick worth thousands of golden bricks. I cannot put a price on your heart, I don’t know its colours. I don’t know its voice. Or the three albums you have on repeat over the summer, or the songs you dance to at night. Simply because you are you, unique, mysterious and beautiful.

Cancer: You are a puzzle and I am not your missing peace, I don’t own it. But you do. You make up your own being. Maybe you left it in your back pocket, next to the shattered dreams or under the pillars you build when you were eight years old. The ones you made to put your broken home on, searching for stability in broken mirrors. I will linger in my map of you and I swear that even when I get back it leads back to you. It always leads back to you. To that little house with orange paint on the walls from ten years ago. With the nicotine sticking to a once white ceiling and some kind of animals running around. The dusty photographs will still stand on the desk. You will still sit on that one spot, with teary eyes and crossed legs. And you will still be beautiful.

Leo: I could never describe your beauty. Your beauty cannot be multiplied, it can only be remembered, treasured, envied, appreciated or regretted. And by remembered I mean that when you feel like you are just another extra in someone’s life that they will mention you to their parents during dinner. They will talk about your shining personality and sparkling eyes. By treasured I am talking about that “the one” experience which you deserve. A treasure filled with all things unique and irreplaceable. One that’s filled with happiness. By envied I am talking about the eyes you do not see, or do not wish to see. Or don’t notice. You stand out in a crowd, especially when you don’t think you are. By appreciated I am talking about the ones who see your true you, your tangled hair and cracked lips. The ones who still stay even through the bad times. By regretted I am talking about the people who did not see your beauty until you blossomed. I understand why you find cocoons beautiful now, and how you like caterpillars just as much as butterflies.

Virgo: Snow litters on untouched skin. Sun rains through the cracks of the darkness even where you hide. I could hear you talking every day. Forever. With delicate fingers and blushed cheeks. Your hair untamed and your fingers bruised to the bone. Delicately logical. The edges of the leafs of oak trees remind me of your way of thinking. The overhang reminds me of your mind. Which casts shadows over the villagers in the houses you build where colourless souls reside. You are so often in debate with your own head, at war with your own body. Never at peace, always restless. Always asking, “but why?” I don’t know. You like it, don’t you? Parading around in your own world? Sweet little soul in a world full of pain.

Libra: The bell of the church echoed through your head a little longer than it should’ve. It never was nice. We never played nice. We talked until our lips were dry and I stayed home when you were out cold. But memories don’t matter anymore do they darling? In this orchestra of harmonious noises where you are the leader of everything nothing can hurt you. I don’t know, I don’t know. And goddamnit I know you will try to push everything on yourself again. You always do. That’s just how you work. Why don’t you warm your hands on your own body for once? You don’t need another person to feel like you’re loved, you only need one. One whole, full, true person.

Scorpio: Everything seems darker these days. Charcoal coloured clouds are a daily thing. And your arms are always covered up along with your legs. Even in the summer the nights don’t seem as enchanting. Not when small bruises shaped like the bumps of your knuckles litter on your thighs. Self destructive lullabies, “I just need a friend, for once in my life.” A desire for someone to stay ripped from your lips. So I stayed by your side wondering, if you wanted me to stay or needed me to stay. Of course I could say you remind me of scarlet blood and bathroom tiles. But you also remind of the river I used to play in when I was nine. You also remind me of the necklace I got when my grandmother passed away. You remind me of memories, the good, the bad, the in-between. You remind me of life. Please keep on living.

Sagittarius: The reason that I didn’t cry when you left was because crying means letting go, or so you said. And I don’t want to let you go. I want you to be a part of me, forever. But I can’t do that, you would rot in the hell hole that is my mind. I can’t put you through more cruelty. I hate how I am the reason you cry on bad nights, do you still wonder if I miss you? I do. I do. I do. Regret was stronger than appreciation. But you’re so fucking strong. Your eyes still shine even when you’re sad. You think no one likes you yet you know that’s not true. You’re the reason I am alive. You let me experience pain, beauty, emotion. You let me live. You’re so much more than enough, sometimes I can’t even handle who you are. You are dazzling. But you could never control your heart, it always wandered over the streets of other people’s bodies.

Capricorn: When the sun sets over mountains and the houses made of glass shatter I will still see your name in the sky in neon lights. The little bugs in our home always wanted to be friends with you. They always say on the tip of your nose with gentle smiles. I never envied you, I wish I treasured you. You are so simplistic and nice. Nice. Too underrated for your own good, no? Aren’t we all. Your hands will still be remembered by those you touched. You always leave some kind of mark that they don’t want to wash off. You have that affect on people. You make them drown their thoughts and hold their breath when you walk into a room. You are an old soul, you know. Why? You just do. Because you’re you. And nothing can change that or the late nights, the slowness or the fastness in your walk doesn’t matter for the right people. They will walk for you until they have blathers on their toes. If they don’t you know what to do.

Aquarius: Swirls of icy wind are always your accomplice. Your cold, and beautiful; like snow. The wires always stick to your senses, they get stuck in between your backbone. They twist around your spine and plug into the back of your brain. You let other people control you like you’re a mindless puppet. I think the wires got the best of you. Whenever you speak your mind it says something beautiful and unique. You are original, not ordinary. I am sorry they teach you that being unique is bad and that you have to fit into this ‘ordinary’ world as an ‘ordinary’ person. Nothing is ordinary about you, not even your name. Your name says who you are as a person, if someone asks me to define you I will simply say your name, the definition of your personality is your name. Because your name is unique and so is your personality. Don’t let other people control you.

Pisces: The imaginary butterflies with the raven black wings told me about you. They tell me that your head is in a universe they have never seen, with all things beautiful and all things bad. They see you crying with your knees tugged up sometimes, hands in your hair as you hide beneath sheets of darkness. You write poetry with the blood in the sink and make galaxies with the stars you find inside other people their eyes. A gentle smile always embraces your lips, “So happy, yet so sad” they say. A mask is something you believe is beautiful, but I believe you are beautiful. The real you. Not the you who cautiously walks over this realm of sadness. Your moonlit hair is so silky, your sunlit eyes are so sad. Chin up little soldier.

—  Letters to the zodiac signs

i.
i learned to bite back without getting blood on my mouth. to swing hard without breaking my fist. to set fires without burning up my own clothes.

ii.
sophomore year suicide but not really. part of me died and the other part wanted to. it’s not just an exaggeration it’s the scars under my skin. the ones on the outside that scabbed and healed over. the kids who thought rumors weren’t time bombs in rose gardens. like this is recess gossip not locker room isolation.

iii.
so I hit back. became the better bitch in most ways and grew thick skin. i don’t even feel the sting anymore. nothing can touch me so nothing can love me so nothing can fucking leave me.

iv.
forget safety in numbers. there’s only ever been safety in being alone.

—  remember it all? the way they wouldn’t even look at you?– lily rain

i.
Arms so inked they pass for black, lips always kissing a lit cigarette. He was a Bad Boy, in the most cliche of ways.

ii.
She was an angel, just missing wings and a halo.

iii.
She wouldn’t go bad for him, and he couldn’t turn good, not even for her.

iv.
In time, white water will carve river rock.

v.
They learned to love in shades of grey, in undefined twilight at dusk and dawn.

vi.
Even the purest princess can get addicted to smoking. Even the fiercest of dragons need more than the fire of their own breath to keep them warm.

— 

Mt // yin-yang love

Prompt: @free-her-state-of-mind

anonymous asked:

maddiee do u know any good poetry books?

i kno so many good poetry books they break my heart

i. Kids playing hooky early morning, I am the pain relief pills they hide under their tongue and spit out under the couch cushions when their mother shuts the screen door. I am the first time you skin your knee, in the rain whispering nixie weaved revenge spells down your yellow coat and your red boots (the first time you really know you are alone). I am the hand stand on the sidewalk when your elbow buckles in like lame horses fall to the canyon mouth, you are just a child. You can fly, turn invisible, speak to animals, walk through walls. Rustling, do you hear it? Yanking the baby teeth from their pink beds.

ii. You crumble under the weight of a naked black sky, feeling something skittering on your skin. Something wicked and naive. Like a spider egg. You get a mouthful of broken teeth, and lay frying sunny side up on the summer asphalt.

iii. Tonight you’re gonna learn how to fall, then get back up again. Tonight you are gonna know what it is to be exhausted. Are you okay when you fall off your daydream and end up on your back? Your eyes are red where they used to be white.

iv. you have been chewing your will to live with the aching wisdom teeth you desperately need to get pulled. you have been softening it with your saliva, but it’s 11 pm, and it’s stale now, and it tangles into your rapunzel locks in your sleep and finally gives you an excuse to cut all your hair off.

v. Last week your dentist asked if anything was bothering you, and you almost told him about the small tooth you think is growing between your tricuspids, pushing everything out of place, sending you on the verge of sonic tears and crawling on the bathroom floor with no idea where your phone is, and something out of control, and poison, and odontalgia, and dysthymia, and forgetting the Latin roots, and ripped out pages of a book that was supposed to tell you how to get back home and. how long do you think I can hold my breath before I look like a blueberry, and it is, in me, and the throbbing red bump at the base of your sternum and how you tried to cut it off but you were too scared of what was underneath, and dandelion seeds of reasons why you should just stay here until somebody forgets you even showed up heaving out of your mouth and into a McDonalds bag, and the feeling at 13 in the bathroom stall after swim practice shaking like coffee on an empty stomach pulling out the first tampon you ever put inside, and your wet thighs, and the warm dirty smell.

Gargle, spit. You say no. Nothing really.

vi. you should get gold fillings. then all you have to do is flash a smile and no one will fuck with you.

vii. Four months until graduation we are not wasting time, but we eat it too fast and end up vomiting on the highway. On the swing, wood chip splinters, and agitation like termite fever beneath my skin. It’s not that I think the zombie apocalypse would be cool, but I could do all the things I do right now without getting sideways glances in the convenience store, or being told I’m depressed like it’s such a problem, or being treated like the splattered milk gallon on the dairy aisle linoleum. Everybody stepping back and maneuvering their shopping carts around the fresh disaster, and staring, and looking away, and ignoring what they don’t want to deal with. And not wanting the blame.

viii. I’m not depressed. It’s just winter.

ix. Is this the last weekend before the first blood? I’m not gonna do my homework anyway.

x. I’m not depressed. My brother took me into the car with the light fixture wires hanging from the ceiling like your wet hair from shower tiles. we zoomed down with Apollo laughing in the backseat and egged the big white houses in Beverly Hills and pretended like we were still the strawberry jam kids on concrete playing hopscotch, living in sandcastles, eating mudpies. Like we were not hotboxing, and taking pictures of half healed things under the band aid, and always ready to put our hands up when we hear sirens, and microwaving earthworms. And growing up too fast.

I’m not depressed. But I’m not coming back this time either.

xi. It’s a haunted Sunday in the home your parents left to rot, and the black mold spores bleeding down the buttermilk wallpaper are causing you to do unadvisable backbends. And somehow years later I am still the grocery list you are always throwing in the trash with the candy wrappers.

—  6. graduation cometh
1. hey, i’m lonely.
2. i mean, you’re beautiful.
3. i mean, i bet we can make something beautiful from all this.
4. look, isn’t this so good? don’t you feel so whole? let’s never hurt each other, alright?
5. just stay quiet, it’ll make this easier.
6. we’re young and we have an excuse to be stupid. let’s blame your father and my mother and pretend it doesn’t matter.
7. it doesn’t matter.
8. it doesn’t matter.
9. it hurts because it’s supposed to, that’s all.
10. i hate the way you kiss me, i hate the way you whisper, i hate the way this feels.
11. but baby, you’re still beautiful.
12. i love you i love you i love you
13.
14.
15.
16. is that what this is called?
—  15 THINGS || s.o.

i.
so I stand by the fire where it’s warm but that doesn’t stop the cold from seeping in. my skin is frozen and cracking. i can’t remember a time when my hands weren’t shaking.

ii.
“your stuff is in my car”
that hurt to hear her say.

iii.
when god turned 50 he put away the Bible and picked up a pack of cigarettes. we’ve been praying to his ashes like they’re going to save us but they only leave our hands melting and empty. he found a way to silence long before we found a way to shout.

iv.
there used to be less fear. i sleep with a nightlight and stuffed animal now. the anxiety claws up my throat still but it helps, i guess, to have something to hold.

v.
“how was he?”
“casual,” she says.

vi.
i think about how I never really learned how to pray, how I never really learned how to confess. my sins hang heavy on my tongue but I keep my mouth closed.
there’s no heaven left anyway. no one is listening.

—  he’s a dead ringer for a saint but so is the devil– lily rain
1.
in the grand scheme of things, my heartache was made out of the framework of a hyperactive teenage mind. it was fashioned out of the scaffolding of repeated rhyme schemes and off-tempo murmurings. my suffering was man-made. but it’s still mine, all fucking mine.
2.
the church bells that clang outside my bedroom window shake my body until i feel the cold slither of a soul that is not mine seep and intertwine into my rib cage. until i speak in tongues with my tongue wrapped around words that were never meant to be anything but daydreams.
3.
 there are pills in one hand.
4.
there is terror in my eyes.
5.
there is a black pit inside my stomach.
6. 
a burning in my esophagus.
7.
there are pills down the sink.
8.
there is a body, lying on a bathroom floor, in the fetal position.
9.
i run faster than the wind, faster than the shouts that caution me to slow down, faster than my mind has time to process the feeling of my feet hitting the sun-baked concrete. my teeth rattle upon impact. my hair wraps itself around my necklace. my heart seizes, stops, and then keeps beating.
10.
suburbia can kill, ya’ know.
11.
lack of love can really fuck you up until you’re spewing blood all over your brand new church shoes.
12.
this is what loss can really do to you.
—  12 STEP PROGRAM // k.m.

i.
summers are slow and i’ve got a bad habit of making disasters out of people who try to love me and i don’t like to think about it but i know now that this is all that happened between us.

ii.
it’s no secret that being together was more bad habit than love but i’m still pretending that i wasn’t the cause of our ruin and i don’t quite know how to stop.

iii.
my therapist tells me to stop pretending i ever had control but i’ve never told her about biting back (about biting first).

iv.
i don’t know if we could have made it, all i know is that we didn’t. all i know is that whatever we tried to build burnt down and my hands smell like gasoline.

v.
sometimes i pretend you were soft before you met me, that i got under your skin and made a monster of you.

vi.
other times, i pretend i didn’t.

—  i’ve told this story so many ways that i’ve pretended to forget // sarah kate o.
I. you kiss me. I tell myself this is nothing. your lips taste like longing. I am taken aback by the way your hands feel on my skin. It’s been a long time since I felt anything so gentle.
II. before you unbutton my jeans, you ask, “can I?” I almost ruin the moment by tearing up. I stare in your eyes, trying to drink in what it feels like when someone asks permission to touch you.
III. afterward, I leave. I tell myself not to get too attached. I remind myself of the poisonous words hurled at me, all the reasons I should be keeping you at arm’s length. it is all too easy to convince myself you deserve better.
IV. my friends ask if I’m keeping my options open. I lie and say yes.
V. I watch you drink and dance and laugh, feel an inescapable smile boil over on my lips. I kiss you. alcohol blurs the edges of your face, sharpens the truth I’m trying to ignore.
VI. we stay out by the lake watching the moon eat away at the shadows. “tell me things about you.” I am compelled to apologize whenever I talk about myself for too long, but with you the words spill out without all the familiar self-consciousness.
VII. I spend the night in your bed. I hold you as you fall asleep, amazed that my arms are allowed to hold something so precious. we breathe kisses over each other’s old wounds. I wish I could protect you from any new.  
VIII. at some point along the way - maybe watching you stay up past midnight to help a friend in need, hearing the compassion and excitement in your voice as you talk about what you’re going to do for the summer - I realize that I am lucky enough to have fallen in love with an angel.
IX. the color of your eyes makes me think of the summer my family went to Anna Maria Island, the summer I turned twelve, the summer I spent reading Nicholas Sparks novels and thinking nothing bad could ever come from falling in love. looking into your eyes, the water is an immaculate crystalline blue and I could dive right in.
X. I tell you I love you. I tell myself this is everything.
—  ten things I didn’t expect to happen
A.
I think the world got easier to understand once I realized that the night I found God, all dressed up in her Friday night best and eyes that glimmered like pennies in a wishing well, is also the night I met the devil; he was down on his luck and down on his knees, praying to fall back into God’s good graces again.
B.
The heat between us drips and slides onto the floorboards of the two-seater. My breath smells like old, mint gum, and my lipstick has sank into the cracks of my lips. His hands grip at the leather of the driver’s seat, and his eyes dart back and forth between the road and the promise of what’s to come in my mine.
C.
The Saturday night fever has reached its peak as the kids from the community college journey back to the land of sex and sleep. To be honest, there are many things I should of kept out of my mouth tonight, but, I’m glad I let the words dribble out my mouth and let loose into the air. I’m glad I drank cherry sprite instead of that lime-a-rita bullshit. I’m glad that this is a night I get to remember without associating it with the scent of vomit and cheap perfume.
D.
When the water looks cool and inviting, don’t dive in head first.
You’ll get swept up in a current you weren’t expecting, and your body will be ripped apart by its beauty and strength.
Instead, look at it from a far. Let its cool and calm demeanor tantalize your imagination and captivate your sense of sight.
Not everything must be touched to be appreciated.
E.
(But when that water seems choppy and volatile, throw yourself to its mercy. Touch until you’re both satisfied, until the drought in your mouth has been quenched.)
F.
When I’m with you
the sky melts
into a scene
made for
two,
and the pressure
of last night’s
blunders and mishaps
lessen.
When I’m with you
everything
seems
to
work.
—  CHERRY VANILLA SKIES // k.m.
1. timing is a very, very funny thing.
2. the universe is infinitely better at sorting out your messes than you’ll ever be. have patience and trust the fact that things will work themselves out.
3. the first boy you love isn’t necessarily going to love you back.
4. if he calls you beautiful over text message but ignores you in person, drop him. you deserve consistency and, more importantly, respect.
5. sometimes a person hundreds of miles away can make you feel better than the people sitting right next to you.
6. it is not selfish or inconsiderate to put your own needs first- it is a way to protect yourself, and the only way you’ll survive in this world.
7. your family may drive you crazy and push every button you have, but more often than not, they’re some of the only people who actually mean it when they say they love you.
8. everyone is deeply sad about something- everyone. that includes the pretty senior you walk by in the hallways and that moody boy that sits behind you in your english class. keep this in mind whenever you come across a person that doesn’t sit well with you.
9. fake it ‘til you make it.
10. love everyone with all you have. be kind, be gentle, be considerate. those are the qualities that truly make a person beautiful. but do not take it personally when someone doesn’t give you the same level of care that you would give to them. take it as a sign to put less of your love into them and turn it towards other people instead.
11. always, always, always trust your instincts. your body can sense bad energy a lot faster than you can.
12. you deserve to have people in your life who appreciate and accept you for all that you are. as soon as someone tries to change you, leave and never look back.
13. do not bare the entirety of yourself to a single person. your soul is incandescent, and humans have the tendency to destroy anything that shines.
14. life is constantly changing; the world is constantly moving. as a result, you are constantly evolving. you are growing physically, spiritually, and emotionally as a human being every single day. that takes a lot of work. be proud of it.
15. find something that starts a fire in your heart and run with it. do not let anyone or anything stop you from following your ambitions and embracing who you are.
16. you will hear a lot of advice and words of wisdom throughout your life. you will come across lists and poems and stories and books that all try to tell you how to be happy and live a good life. but the most important thing you’ll ever need to remember can be summed up in two words: love yourself. get up every single day and fall in love with the person you see in the mirror. nurture your soul and body. eat good food, go on adventures, surround yourself with only positivity. live. take care of yourself, because in the end, you’re all that you’ve got.
—  16 things i’ve learned in 16 years

when we were seven years old and red-cheeked at the sunrise of our lives, i wrote you a letter and slipped it in your schoolbag when no one was looking. catholic school nuns taught us that god is always watching and maybe god saw me do it. back then i didn’t care. now i’m not sure if he even exists. still i believe that if god did exist, he wouldn’t give a damn about a love letter a girl wrote for another girl.

it wasn’t exactly a letter.

it was a poem i stole from a book i can no longer name because i didn’t write poetry yet and i wouldn’t until much, much later. i was the first person you showed it to. i swallowed my heart and framed a boy classmate who liked you.

i thought i’d gotten away with it.

we were alone after class as always when you said, “you wrote it, didn’t you?” for the first time, i became acquainted with the sensation of crashing. scrambled insides. a soul inverted. i still don’t know how i managed to laugh like it was a joke. i denied everything. i think you believed me.

i kind of wish you hadn’t.

time led us to different places and different lives. i dropped the sketchpad and picked up the textbooks, traded the dream of artist for neurosurgeon. i misplaced pieces of myself. i found new parts. i wrote a poem for the very first time. i lost myself in the lips of people who don’t even know your name and wrote poetry about them.

i forgot about you.

we are seventeen years old on the cusp of the midday of our lives when i see you again. it’s seven-thirty in the morning by the old school. your classes have already started and yet there you are, strolling like you can stop time at any moment. you don’t even look at me but the snapshot of you mid-step, framed by the early morning sunlight, rushes at me like a sucker punch and i find that i can barely breathe.

you grew up.

your beauty once crept on people. soft and gentle. moonlight. now it turns stranger’s heads. glittering and dangerous. you are the sun trapped in a vessel. your light might blind me but i want to keep looking at you.

i want to greet you good morning and ask you how you’re doing. i keep walking.

it’s shallow but i fall in love with pretty strangers all the time and you’re no exception. you were my best friend once but now you might as well be anyone, and anyone is easy to forget. so i almost forget you again but it seems like something out there doesn’t want me to, because you find me on instagram, of all places. i can only feed on so many glimpses of a life that has nothing to do with me until the urge to hear your voice again overwhelms the fear in my veins.

i type: how are you? do you remember me? 

i type: do you remember the letter?

but all i send is: hi.

— a letter i will never send | the list of people i’ve fallen for | OCEAN M.