Poem: Walking In My Thoughts


An unearthed poem from 2003.

Walking in My Thoughts

It’s intriguing, when I re-read this poem, I can remember almost precisely the moment it came into being.

I was in Toronto, it’s springtime. No classes that day, so I decided to take a walk from Rafaella’s house to the Benjamin Boake Greenbelt a short distance away. I remember that the sky was clear, the sun teasing but the cold breezes kept me in layers of clothing. I was walking along the pavement, hands in my pocket, mulling when the words came to me. I let the words tumble around in my mind as I sat on a bench in the park, my head leaned back allowing the sun to warm me. Arriving home, I took a notepad and pencil, sat on the patio and the words flowed.

The poems in me

The first ever thing I wrote were poems. I wrote poems before I ever wrote anything else. Rhymes came to me, whether I was climbing trees or chasing boys who’d pull my hair in the kindergarten yard.

So, when I saw that Cha had a poetry writing contest, I jumped in. Tentatively.

I had a whole month’s worth of poems from last year so picked two that fit the theme `Void’.

I interpreted this theme as emptiness of the heart, wanting to disappear and be invisible.

I submitted two of the poems I wrote for the Poem-A-Day Challenge, raw and unrevised – Ways to unlove and Hide Me.

It feels great to just put something out there whether they are received with open arms or not because the most important thing – my words are out there.

girl @ the sushi bar (unfinished)

Lunch, two pm
Your stomach rumbles.

You walk in the kaiten-laced store
“Irrashaimase!” shouts the Indian man
surrounded by moving belts.

You cover a smile
at the incongruity
and seat your tired butt
on a stool,
it’s cold.

Kappa maki, yasai tempura, chawan mushi
You recite your favourites
to the bored waitress beside you
who’s sneaking glances at her smart phone
in her apron pocket.

You look around the restaurant
as they pour your ocha,
the hot drink splashes on your skin,
you shake your hand
and glare.
The young waitress whispers `sorry’
and steps away.

Children and their parents
grabbing plates from belts
– edamame, agedashi tofu, inari
conversant in the language of japanese fast food
plates guzzled in seconds
and in your mind
you think of starving Ethiopian children
where a grain of rice
is the language of luxury.

You pick at the sushi on your pink plate
sip your lukewarm ocha
add soy sauce to your wasabi
introduce more wasabi to your soy sauce

This is you
three times a week.
You eat
You observe
You slurp the last tofu square
from your salty miso soup.
Wipe the dribble
racing down your chin.

You ask for the bill,
enough for today.
spew from the lips
of all the wait staff
to the girl
who was
@ the sushi bar.


Was it when
women threw themselves at you
and you couldn’t have them?

Or when you called me
to tell me (proudly)
that you resisted,
regret lacing each uttered word?

Or when you realised that this was IT
– a possible lifetime with me
like a death sentence?

Was it when
we fought over the phone
for the hundreth time
And I hung up
without saying goodbye
and you called again
just to say fuck you?

Or was it when
you had dinner with her?
which you hid from me
because the guilt
was too much to swallow.
Pun intended.

Maybe it was when
you looked up at the night sky
hearing the waves crashing
with her beside you, holding hands?
I’m just guessing.

Or was it when to save myself
I said we should take break?
And you said no deal.


Among all those whens
and other whens unsaid,
secret whens
that you decided
that you chose
to stop loving



No dinner, no drinks,
It’s been awhile,
You worry, I don’t
I can even smile

Cos I know what I’m doing
You think something’s amiss
You wonder what it is
God, I have a long list

I’m dark, You’re not
I want to keep you, You
Which means you don’t get to see
me – thorny, cracked, blue

So, leave it awhile
Eventually I’ll come back
Just not right now
Please cut me some slack

Probably not even next week
Maybe in a month or two
Understand this though
This thing I’m doing? I’m saving You.


i’ve cried all the tears
i needed to cry –
i almost drowned in them.

i’ve thought all the thoughts
i needed to think –
half-afraid i’d go mad.

it’s time to move on,

it’s time
to think of the future
of unmade plans,
unvisited places,
unmet people,
unexperienced events.

no regrets,
no wonderings,
no what-ifs.
the moment is over for those.

only hope,
anticipation for what could be,
the daybreak is filled with these.

i curl myself around myself.
content with the me that i am.
exhilarated at the being i will be.

i look ahead as i gaze behind.
i smile wistfully,
in this after – i am enough.

Circa 2003

Poem A Day: Off with the birds

And so,
the birds – they wake me
in the morning.

I hear them chirping,
sweetly singing.

I look out my window
it overlooks the pond.

I see an egret
scooping fishes with it’s beak!

I am incensed!

I run downstairs,
and rummage in the store room,
And rush out my house.

until I was face-to-face
with the fish-stealing feathered creature.

I point my hunting gun.
And shoot.

Poem A Day Challenge Day 26