An Introvert’s Handbook

We always have the heartiest laugh

in a room full of people

we adapt to living in the moment

It will be over soon anyways

Battery drained, energy depleted

Just need an hour,

Just need a week

and an empty bottle of elderberry wine

Take the dog for a walk

and do yoga outdoors

when we feel a buzz to explore nature

It could all be so simple

Club music, screaming teens aches the soul’s ears

felt this way since age 22.

Maybe tomorrow. Maybe a month’s gap

“the farther the better” is forever the motto.

ask me to come join you at 9pm

I text back at 8:59

Body feels heavy and my bed’s tucked me in

it’s massaged me with a soothing balm

and pecked me sweet dreams

A day at a time

helps us unravel our insecurities

we’ve sailed through time

stopping at every port of our mind’s evolution

Watching oneself grow without changing

suffocating under knowledge, experience and migration

Running away from a place that feeds off light and innocence

away from the alley of despair and self-abandonment

searching earnestly for peace

but peace finds us on a rainy night

beside our bed with a mug of yogi tea

grooving to jazzy pop and stroking our bunny’s tum

Today we’re bubbly, fun, ready to go

but you’re talking over each other

and I can’t hear myself think

instead I’m absorbing everybody else’s emotion

I’m done before the night’s even begun

Let’s try a do over

at the one place where anxiety has no territory

so long as you don’t move anything

or poke prying questions

I’ll get the Hors d’oeuvre and listen

you sit over there and relish the honor of being invited

into the organized maze of a chaotic mind

This amazing illustration by Yaoyao Ma Van of https://introvertdear.com/news/illustrations-introvert-living-alone/

A Lost Voyager

I remember being driven around but not wanting to go home

I remember poking high ceilings with silence, unheard

I remember breathing into my heart, separated from my abdomen

and expiring blazes of firework.

I remember anomalies mingling with the soft mosturizer on my skin

I remember being octracized for being more ebony than chocolate

more wolf than sheep. A blank river filled with myself.

Like a voyager,

My body became a fabric taking illiterate roots

I dreamt if baltic ember beads, red as rust they were

smell of butane in the air

flanked by buttercup and daised skies

I remember calling out with glassy eyes

knowing nothing, embracing everything

searching for home or the sound of familiarity

but most of all, I remember being lost in my soul.

Image credit: designyoutrust.com/poetic-haunting-illustrations

The Interview

Den 6. Mai. 2019.

It was an especially windy morning and I was in a losing battle with the rain, my least favourite forecast. By now my mascara was like a plangent river and my nipples seem to have resisted all the confines I had on, and were poking out as if in protest. This is the kind of morning I’d double up on blankets and burrow a hole through with my body. Now I simply had to resist the urge to moan.

Several minutes later, I was in the courtyard of one of the most prestigious establishment of the town’s history. The weather didn’t seem to deter the occupants as there were more than a handful of young adults, running around in the garten, and some if you can believe, making rain angels.

I walked right through the iron-casted door and shook myself like a shaggy mutt, hopefully I’d get some warmth flowing through my veins before the interview. This was my first job interview, but my quivering body and goose-bumped skin subdued all other nerve-wrenching feelings.

As I walked through the long corridor, searching for the waiting room, a door opened and the man wedging his robust body between it was possibly in his late 40s. He seemed to be squinting at me through his rimmed-glasses; “Frau Ukut, Sie sinds?”

I swallowed my words as I replied; “Ja da bin ich”. He motioned to me to wiggle myself past him. I took a seat behind him as he muttered some welcoming words while taking a seat. We were separated by a sturdy table made from maple oak. He adjusted his brims and glared at me. By this time, my smile was beginning to quake. The voices in my head bellowed in unison, “Oh no, the jig is up”.

I dared to break the silence, “Herr Mayer, Gibt es eventuell eine Probleme oder?

“Na ja”, he heaved, ” Sie sind ein bisschen zu groß, eine Patientin hier zu sein”

Entschuldigen Sie, I chuckled at the silly remark, “Ich bewerbe mich nur bei Ihnen als Assistenzärztin. Haben Sie meine unterlagen nicht bekommen oder?”

He toyed with the tip of a pen which seemed to have been heavily chewed on, then picking up the telephone, he punched in numbers and made some affirmations with the person on the other end. A few footsteps later, there was a knock on the door. Herr Mayer stood up, straightened his tie and right before disappearing assured me. “Warten Sie, Ich komme gleich wieder zurück”.

I sat there peering at the obscure hand painted framed images loosely hung on the wall. A couple were of a woman with soft eyes and a reverse smile. Another was of a clown trapped in a burning building, and there were others that had too much going on anyway. Absorbing myself within them kept me from tinkering with Herrn Mayer’s impression about me being a patient..

Shortly as promised, he was back with news, ” Ich freue mich darüber, Sie zu erzählen, dass Sie den Job bekommen haben. Wenn es stimmt dir zu, können Sie schon am heute Nachmittag anfangen”. My heart was palpitating in my chest as I could not believe his utterance. In that moment, I had forgotten every appropriate reply, so I grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously. Before I left the office, his last words since the forty mins I’ve known him were, ” we believe you will fit right in”.

So I went into the changing rooms and reemerged in the courtyard in white overalls. The dress code seemed to grab the kids attentions. Now the rain had stopped and my smile was beaming. Here I was, residing physician at the Institute of Paediatric Neurology and Psychiatry, Cologne. A dream I’ll keep reliving until it comes true.

True self

Your longings

attached to a thespian smile

captivates a wandering soul

tho’ it’ll take you a while longer

to remember how to breath again.

these nimble feeling in your bowels

is rumbling, swelling up, bursting out

your spirit is an unrestrained beast

recycling the dreams you’ll dream again

like a sillouette in the dead of the night

you slip into a formless, void space

thoughts dance up your crooked spine

nothing that doesn’t want to can be obviated

Sometimes peace screams through silence

sometimes silence is the peace

truth lays beyond the borders

of this consciousness and an astral plane

Then comes a glimpse of epiphany

We are but spirits in human drag

Nothing we see is real as it seems.

We fight everyday

to find diamond reflecting in darkness

Within self

Outside self

But in reality

There exist  truth within  truth

Emerald city

Mirror mirror,

What if I was a stranger in Emerald city, ten white horses galloping in front of me, leading the way to the King’s quadrangle, where I bow to her royal highness. I’d serenade her and spill some tea….perhaps even all of it.

It would be nice to live and let loose, not a strand of my hair would tangle and shed, and even if it does, who cares? Drink baileys for breakfast, two glasses of wine before lunch time. All the while smizing for the royal painter to capture my marvellous essence.

Nothing would cease and end. There would always be transfiguration, so my light would be bright enough to generate into the soft glow of the moon in this place where my lady-likeness sprouts

If only time would stand still, even for a minute or five to let me goof around in a infinite courtyard. Wouldn’t life be all the merrier, without ogles of responsibilities breaking down the walls to drag me away.

But a little bit of me will remain regardless in Emerald city, to kiss the King’s temple and frolic in the banquet halls. To cradle the town folks dreams with my severely lacking etiquettes.

In the still night, the owl’s hoot with echo a lullaby. And if the wind is willing, It would circulate warm safari sand to every doorstep and check in with every heart beat until I can find my way back home to them.

photo cred: Marina Girgis on instagram

The language

Puff it once.

Let the smoke dance on the skin until you sucks it back like vacuum. And your eyes overflow with tears like a breaking dam. Pain is a painting of haunted memories you treasure. But if you blood turns black, you’ll risk playing Russian roulette with demons.

Living in a society with borders is like dancing at the top on an active volcano, all the while, expecting it not to erupt. Life is dangerous, just listen to the broken whispers at the end of every delayed heartbeat. You’ll never know if you’re tiptoeing on borrowed time.

After many sacrilegious prayers and resounding amens, most people never find their truth, probably because they’re yet to tell the the truth to themselves. Schade

A flame has no shadow, just like the blurred line between existency and spirituality. You may stand next to it, observing, imitating, fusing with it until you understand the cast that scatters your soul.

Eggshell, bland and typical, your charm is able to discern. Your palms are empty but you conjure up extra smoke and mirrors till your bones start to grit and quake. If you’re lucky, someone calls out with you behind their own shadowy mess.

There is a language I write, from an unorthodox and extinct book it is. Some say it is the language of the dead, others call it the language with no name. Everything I write about you, is what I see looking in the mirror, but the reflection I admire is in the way of my expressive hands.

Simple naive girl

simple naive girl standing at a bay

wind caressing her bronzed-red cheeks

her skin decorated with chilling goosebumps

She’ll be there much longer

She never learnt her ABC’s

she cut her locs and looks mad shabby

talk is cheap, that’s everything she’s not

One look and her face melts into your mind

When a marigold of beauty meets the devil

all forts gives way to the sandstorm of heckle

She takes a terse step forward and 10 strides back

look she’s already pregnant with disappointment

She grew into a Robotic shell

mechanical in every way, like a caged dove

She escaped her iron cast

when she reprogrammed herself to feel

Overdosing from undeserved trust and faulty loyalty

when the full moon waxes and wanes

she’ll patch her haunted soul together again

but simple naive girl just never learns

She gives herself up love

even if it’s an agonising wrench through her spine

she figured, if seeing is believing

she couldn’t master life with hardly feeling.

Delilah’s wish

She waited at the foot of mother’s rocking chair, next to the polka- dot curtains, cuddling her head between the flesh of her palms.

Mother was 122 years old with the smile of a 6 year Mädel. Her silver hair was ankle-long and growing. She reminded Delilah of an orange orchid that blossomed in spring.

Mother always told her that if she wished hard enough, it will come true. Think of it as the source of your soul’s turnover, she said. So every second she held a wish, like a golden goose egg on a Mughal-gem spoon. Her wishes bloomed into ideas that transformed into pictures that broke out of the oasis of her mind.

Everyday she was living her best wishes within herself, disconnected from both bright and shadowy side of the world.

Outside, the ground was a muddy mess of earth, the trees twisted their roots deep into the malleable soil, claiming their territory while providing nurture for the wrmy worms and beetles. The rain had poured for weeks, and even now, there seemed no sign of dryness.

Delilah had stayed in. Albeit her love for the unsynchronised kiss of the soluble element on her coarse skin, seeing mother’s radiance was a far pleasurable experience.

Delilah pulled out her book of colours tucked beneath her pillow and began to scroll like she always did. The moment she sprays her colours is when her cheeks are flushed, her body squirms with joy and her frosty soul melts into a healing orange puddle.

She would colour in her dreams, and then paint herself when she’s awake. Her aesthetic was more-so an extension of herself than a mask

Today she painted freshly baked banana-cupcakes on the stove. Windsor, the tabby cushioned between two flower pots. She painted her mother looking out the curtains watching the rain drip drip with wonder in her eyes. Delilah imagined she was thanking God for the gift of the seasons.

When she was done, she proudly handed her masterpiece to mother. She couldn’t have wished for anything more than the truth her sketches revealed even without tracing a single ink to paper.