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May 10, 2016 / ldejong4

Being still with you

Tonight, I don’t want to speak with you

I want to sit in silence next to you

and be still with you.

I don’t want to look at you, wrap my body

around you or even laugh with you.

I want to feel the silence envelope us

over, around and across.

A figure eight like an Arabian dance

reminding that we are one

in ourselves and together.

I want to sit next to you

in the weight of this stillness.

I don’t want to think of you, desire you or be inside you.

Let your hands do what they want to

Let them find the touch of my knees

and the movement in my breath.

And know that when your hands glide across my leg

and when your arms hold me,

you hold all the imperfections of my body.

And I will sit here

Enjoying the jingles of this silent dance

Here in this moment with you

And when you are not here,

Know that I will think of you and desire you and love you

as you are here now in stillness with me,

doing nothing else

than loving this and loving us

December 26, 2015 / ldejong4

It’s Christmas and it’s raining

It’s Christmas and it’s raining.

It’s Christmas and it’s raining

and I’m in my room

and you’re in your room,

next to mine

and it’s raining.

Pap is asleep

and Mam is gone to Mass

and it’s raining.

The baby is gone

with Seán and Claire

and Thomas is somewhere,

the cat’s in his bed

and it’s raining.

Granda is gone.

It’s Christmas

and it’s raining.

 
I’m still in bed

looking at faded cat posters

and paint chippings

and low hanging hooks

and it’s Christmas and it’s raining.

And you’re in your room

looking at dusty photos

and porcelain dolls

and birthday cards.

 

It’s Christmas and it’s raining

and I feel big in my room.

Do you feel big in your room?

Come here to me

because it’s Christmas

and it’s raining.

October 26, 2015 / ldejong4

Love is Truth

Screen shot 2015-10-26 at 20.21.26When you play hide and seek with yourself

Where do you hide your truth?

Does your sun hide behind the clouds?

Or is it in the ocean?

Or in a rabbit’s burrow?

Hide not your laughter

Nor your sorrow.

Let hope be your spirit

And grief be your wisdom.

Let joy be your food

And peace be your rest.

Let fear be your saviour,

For it’s love’s most truthful test.

See trust in the mirror

Let courage be your strength

And let all your tears

Form a river

Winding in paths unforeseen

Into the ocean where love hides.

Let love be the light source of your life.

July 25, 2015 / ldejong4

Words are magical

Santa brought me a black slate last Christmas. Not because I was on his naughty list but because he wanted to give me a very important message. On the slate, written in gold pen reads:

Words are magical

Use yours to Heal, Inspire, Encourage, and Empower.

“How cute!” I thought. And I now have the slate resting on my bay window amongst some disorganised piles of books, folders and loose sheets I use for my TEFL classes. Inevitably, I contemplate the slate regularly when I find myself distracted from work and gazing out the window. Its message strikes me still. We all have words and we all have the ability to let them glimmer like fairy dust.

That Christmas was quiet for me. My brother was away with his beloved on honeymoon, my sister left one day later with her boyf and my friends were either home in different parts of the country or having their own respective date nights with long term boyfriends or fiancés. One evening a day or two after Stephen’s day, my parents were watching a series together I had no interest in (probably something political like House of Cards). I remember sitting in my room bored and lonely. In fact, I was feeling quite sorry for myself. Christmas really isn’t my favourite time of year. I was looking up at old photos I had stuck to my wardrobe of a holiday I’d been on with my parents and my younger sister a few years back in Corsica. That holiday is for me my happy place I go to in my head when I’m feeling down or when I can’t sleep. The particular moment was when we were lying on a little beach together with no one around and only up until recently had this information been my own magic secret close to my heart. That evening, I took out my diary and began to write as I could sense a poem about Corsica coming to me. I jotted down some notes and it wasn’t until a month later that I came back to it, gave it structure, omitted words and gave it some rhythm. The poem moved me as I wrote it and I was grateful for it. A small part of me knew it was the better one of a bunch of poems I had written so far.

I came to a point a few months after that I wanted to submit some poetry for publication in local online publications and competitions. It was my first time submitting poetry so I wasn’t surprised when I received a bunch of rejection emails. All writers get rejected so I was happy to take that first step. But one day, I received an email from a sender named Rethink Your Mind congratulating me on my poem and informing me that it was going to be published in this year’s edition of The Yellow Book. I had to reread the email a few times to fully understand the news. I had completely forgotten about my submission to them! Rethink Your Mind is a non-profit organisation in the UK raising awareness for mental health through art, photography, music and poetry published in their annual Yellow Book. They were looking for work inspired by the line “I feel better when…” and so I believed my poem Do you remember to be the most apt for this submission. Not only was my poem being published in a hardback book with 10,000 paperback copies being distributed in the UK but I was invited to the London book launch ceremony in June.

Fast forward to June and there I was, in my Sunday best, on a terrace overlooking the Thames, tucking into a cream tea, IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS!! Talk about magic or wha?!

Little did I know that a moment of feeling low would gift me like this. I now realise that in that moment I used my magic wand – I wrote to feel better. And I truly believe everyone has a wand be it cooking, baking, writing, singing, dancing, painting… This is the message Rethink Your Mind advocates to help those suffering with their mental health. They encourage engagement in all art forms. The launch ceremony was excellent. We got to mingle with all the artists and speeches were given about this wonderful initiative from very interesting sponsors and bodies such as the NHS and even the police service promoting mental health awareness in all pockets of society.

I am so incredibly proud that my poem now resides among many very impressive works in The Yellow Book and I hope that it will take readers to the beach in Corsica for a brief moment of peace in their busy lives.

proud moment!

proud moment!

cream tea selfie!

cream tea selfie!

I couldn't not get this one...

I couldn’t not get this one…

June 12, 2015 / ldejong4

Feet

 

I look down at your feet

next to mine

Your shoes are big

bigger than your eyes can see

 

If only you knew

how lovely your feet were

and your step

that treads softly on the earth

 

Your shoes are strong

leather and brown

Two rows of eyelets

face one another

 

They’re the holes in your heart

the people in your life

Laces crisscross

bringing them close and tight

 

If only you knew

how lovely your feet were

Tie your laces tight

So you won’t trip and fall

May 10, 2015 / ldejong4

Tree of Life

Baby,

It’s been so long since I have written to you. I don’t know what has kept me. I did write for you. I promise. I wrote scrawls and scribbles on loose paper and in diaries. I drew stars and hearts and perfect trees with flowers and I underlined the prettiest lines in books I have stacked next to my pillow. But nothing I have written has been good enough. Nothing I have thought of has been good enough and sometimes I feel like nothing will ever be good enough. Sometimes I feel I am not good enough. Not as a daughter. Not as a sister. Not as a woman. And so I sit here, with this dull ache in my core struggling to accept. The codeine from the pink box lets me float a little closer to the clouds and my toes dance. I need to file my nails but I’ll wait. Maybe I will grow them long and paint them like my mother’s. This evening I found a poem in a book I love and it’s for you. It’s for all babies. I will rewrite it here because it’s so beautiful. This is for all babies and for all mothers and for all people who love it like I do.

 

Tree of Life (Eavan Boland)

A tree on a moonless night

has no sap or colour.

 

It has no flower and no fruit.

 

It waits for the sun to find them.

 

I cannot find you

in this dark hour

dear child.

 

Wait

for dawn to make us clear to one another.

 

Let the sun

inch above the roof-tops,

 

Let love

be the light that shows again

 

the blossom to the root.

 

February 3, 2015 / ldejong4

Watching football

I like it when he sits there on his armchair watching football, as if for the first time.

Jersey on, beer in hand, crisps on the arm rest.

I like watching his eyes stay glued to the game as his head tilts and slurps.

I catch his chest bounce forward at every strike at goal and every groan that follows.

I like how he barely takes notice of my questions as I sit near him and write.

An emotion is born and leaps out, as if for the first time, ricochets the set and pierces my heart.

He beams at me. He sings. I pretend not to care.

This is love.

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