I… uh… where do I weep for my inner child?

it’s here. the day it never crossed my mind would come
not that I ever think of the future as something tangible,
but that day I hadn’t even conceived
has come

it feels… like nothing… sea level… snow level…
snowflake after snowflake – once a clear symbol of happiness and hope –
fall one after another and land softly on the lethargic concrete,
blanketing the crimson roofs in 10-centimetre cold emptiness

it didn’t feel like the downward-spiralling climax I’d have imagined, if ever asked to
it didn’t feel like… anything
that’s the worst part

you’d think I’d at least be able to grieve the disappearance of that final sign of
inner childhood
grieve and let the knot of pain stuck in my throat claw its way out into a final screeching release
to mark the grave of the one I’ve now lost forever
mark it in time and space, tie it to a specific moment and let it go forever

but there’s no grave
just falling snow
and lethargy beneath it

no grave for me to come back to,
to revisit distant memories of innocence and childlike wonder,
no grave to scream my regrets at,
to mark the moment in time when time stood still for the old me

I’ve become but a wandering gaunt shadow of doubts, anxieties and regrets
in search of a resting place
where I can crawl into a ball and regret the loss of endearing youth

it’s here. the day it never crossed my mind would come

the day when seeing falling snow brought me no more joy, nor respite, nor reprieve

falling snow

– Patricia


Two and a half decades, and a cockle to show for it


Two and a half decades
of casting inconsequential shadows
on the forever droughty soil of a spinning space ball that feels
too grand,
too august,
too austere,
and too stiflingly scanty all the same.

What have you to show for it
but for a debilitating air hunger of a perfectly functional pair of lungs
on a heart wishing the pendulum would stop mid-air,
on a head begging for the synapses to cease fire,
on two feet carrying skin and bone barely standing as is;
the all too precious oxygen
of a heart wishing for one more year of swinging,
of a head begging for one more electrical signal,
of two feet carrying holistic cells with gazelle-like dignity.

Two and a half decades
with nothing to show for it
but for
the cockle my brother gifted me on the day when time ominously sealed the number 25 on my body;
carefully collected while still whole, shell blissfully intact, both parts attached to each other like an unbreakable promise to never let go no matter how seemingly fragile, always held together despite the apparently insurmountable threats of elements vowing to rip them apart;
precious treasure cleaned with utmost care of the sand nesting inside the opal shell
and made the welcoming home of unspoken truth:

I… do matter

Two and a half decades
with a cockle nesting the serendipitously silent truth that I am unconditionally seen and loved
to show for it.

Two and a half decades.
And while you’ll still find me casting inconsequential shadows on the lifeless soil of a spinning space ball,
My hands clutch the delicately hinged halves of a cockle whispering the undeniable truth of unconditional love.

Two and a half decades
and the two halves of a cockle
to show for it.

middle of nowhere


There’s no other song to perfectly describe my life at this point in time. My soul yearns for something more, something which feels so out of my reach. I turn to daydreaming to escape my painful reality, and every rude awakening I experience only makes me wish (to the point of heartbreak) that I lived in another world, all by myself, for myself, with nobody to impede my natural self. A world where I just am, with no outer expectations to fulfill and no pressure to make something of myself. Lost in my 20s. That’s what I am, and I don’t wish to find myself in the real world, because there’s nothing dreamy waiting for me there. No, I want to be among the clouds, floating wistfully, peacefully, dreamily to no end. I just want to be. I don’t want to do anything, I do not wish to be a productive member of society, I do not want to have it all figured out. Leave me be. Just passing through, the child of the dreamgiver trying to work it all out on the way to the moon…

– child of the dreamgiver

Chasing butterflies in the garden


Oh, to be blissfully away in the small, lush garden of my daydream cottage,
barefoot, feeling the occasional ant exploring unchartered territory in its search for the way home;
baresouled, by and for myself, with no audience to impede my natural self;
soaking up the May sun,
looking up at the bright blue sky through the emerald leaves of a tall oak tree,
tree sparrows tantalizingly trilling about the freedom of discovering yourself in the embrace of a white cotton candy cloud,
bees busily buzzing about tasting the sweet nectar of the cornflowers, the poppies, and the chrysanthemums,
crickets cheerfully chirping about the happiness of simply being,
there, in the present,
with no wandering thought that there’s no unchanging the past,
nor having certainty in the future.

Oh, to feel the dainty flutter of a butterfly’s wings
cease as it lands on your rosy cheek,
then suddenly dancing away in the warm spring breeze,
filling you with the childlike wonder you haven’t felt in many a year,
making you sprint to your feet
and chase it with the wild wind in your tousled curls,
letting the boisterous laughter reaching your upturned lips
join the harmony of trills, hums, chirps, and the murmur of the nearby spring.

Oh, to be chasing butterflies in the garden,
to be a novice at life’s symphonies and requiems,
just now coming to know the first,
and never the latter.

Oh, to be chasing butterflies in the garden…

– Patricia

You’ve always been a cat person

Bless your heart, you’ve always been a cat person.
Languorously waltzing into my life
like you’d always been the rightful owner,
covert claws painfully showing themselves when I least expected it,
leaving their mark on my hypersensitive skin;
always a bit too independent for my taste,
coming and going as you pleased,
sometimes there on the sweltering summer nights
when I would lie awake in the crumpled bed sheets,
staring at my make-believe galaxy of glow-in-the-dark star stickers
plastered on the rainwater leaking ceiling,
while you purred perrrfectly soothing whispers into my anxiety-filled ears,
easing my uselessly ruminative mind.
Other times, floating around my necrotic neurons like a pale phantom
seemingly evading all my blizzards on purpose,
so cruelly making me keep my ears open
for the pacifying sound of your returning footsteps,
even though you hadn’t left your paw prints on the marble kitchen countertop
in 4 days, 9 hours, 21 minutes and 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 seconds.

Bless your heart, it wasn’t your fault I have an anxious attachment style!

But I
couldn’t help it,
couldn’t change it,
couldn’t take it
I needed so much more than your hypothermic love.

No wonder I like dogs better.

– Patricia

I painted the bathroom walls opal yellow


I redecorated this week.
Started with the bathroom. Seemed the easiest.
Went out and bought myself opal yellow paint for the walls.
Bright colour to cheer me up when I’m at my lowest
and can barely gather myself to take a shower.

But I didn’t consider I wouldn’t even reach the bathroom,
so the bright, calming yellow won’t fill my eyes
when I’m thinly spread far away in my tear-stained beige sheets.

I painted the bathroom walls opal yellow,
hoping for a few more sunshine-filled moments of respite,
now that I’m doing better.
Held the promising paint can in my left hand
and the auspicious paintbrush in my right hand.
Right then, let’s get to work!
and first began covering the empty spaces and the mould
between the white bathroom tiles.

I should’ve finished what I’d started
and not stopped.

I went to have lunch and, lost in my train of thought,
got hit by a paralysing wave of anxiety about my future.
Warm potato and carrot soup in my mouth, forgetting to swallow,
staring blankly at the tattered tablecloth.
“Go back, go back!”

Went back to painting,
but nothing was the same—
gone in a split second of mindlessly letting the impromptu raft keeping me from drowning
drift away in the sea of
what now’s,
what if’s,
and how’s.

I should’ve bought more paint.

I painted the bathroom walls opal yellow,
but the disillusioned, salty tears dripping into the paint can
diluted the paint.
The tiles still have blinding white streaks


I thought it couldn’t get any worse.
Turns out, all I’ll be thinking of
are my tears spread on the walls
and sinking into the empty spaces between the tiles,
deeper and deeper,
reaching the frame of the house.


Now I see why people choose to move house
instead of just redecorate.

– Patricia

Second childhood. Or: Time capsule for my inner child

24 years young.
They ask me how I am and I answer: “I am but 24 years young.”
Living out my second childhood with the inner child
who is unlearning all the unhealthy coping mechanisms and internalized toxic behaviours
from my first childhood,
and learning to exist imperfectly,
living for the little things in life:
the went-sledding-and-laughter-rumbled-from-my-belly-button-to-the-tip-of-my-toes-and-then-all-the-way-up-to-my-crow’s-feet-when-I-fell-off-the-sled moments;
the it’s-foggy-outside-and-the-roads-are-empty-so-we-can-take-eerie-photos-in-the-middle-of-the-road-and-not-worry-about-passing-cars moments;
the watched-grandpa-fill-seltzer-bottles-with-soda-in-his-now-closed-soda-shop moments;
the it’s-the-last-day-of-2021-and-the-bright-blue-sky-is-ablaze-with-pink-orange-and-yellow-cotton-candy-clouds-so-let’s-climb-up-the-ladder-near-our-grandparents’-attic-where-they-used-to-store-hay-when-we-were-kids-to-get-a-better-view moments;
the went-for-a-walk-in-the-forest-the-day-after-New-Year’s-Eve-and-took-a-photo-of-Maya’s-cute-paw-prints-in-the-snow moments;
the had-a-spontaneous-snowball-fight-like-there’s-no-tomorrow-and-ended-up-with-bruised-butts-shins-and-knees-but-I’ve-never-felt-so-alive-in-years moments;
the let’s-tease-each-other-and-laugh-wholeheartedly-in-grandma’s-dimly-lit-room-while-she-knits-us-jumpers-and-hums-her-favourite-songs moments.

So when they ask me how I am, I answer:
I am 24 years young.
And not a day too old.

– Patricia

Core memories in the making

What more is left to say between us
that hasn’t already been said
by the torrid summers in which we made hay and then climbed atop the haystacks,
our laughter blending with
the chirping of the locusts,
the sweet smell of dry grass,
and the murmur of the nearby spring
carrying unforgettable memories down a stream of nostalgia.
Core memories in the making.

What more is left to say between us
that hasn’t already been said
by the hot summer days when we washed carpets in the yard,
carefree laughter and chitter-chatter blending with
the feeling of blissful togetherness,
the scorching concrete burning our soles,
the homemade soap under our nails,
and the invigorating cold water splashing from the garden hose,
carrying lasting memories down a stream of soap foam and nostalgia.
Core memories in the making.

What more is left to say between us
that hasn’t already been said
by the sweltering August days when we shelled peas and beans,
one heavy sack after another,
our mirthful laughter blending with
the gentle breeze as we sat under the grapevine,
the dirt under our nails,
and the green stains on our fingertips unable to be washed off for the next couple of days,
the tap water carrying deeply ingrained memories down a stream of dirt, soap foam and nostalgia.
Core memories in the making.

What more is left to say between us
that hasn’t already been said?
Words are superfluous
in the face of shared laughter
in the midst of the welcome humdrum,
For we’ve learned long ago
that our lives are defined by the little things
seeping in our veins through the cracks between our fingernails and our skin,
latching onto our aortas,
making their way up to our hippocampi.
Core memories in the making.

– Patricia