Timber Merchant

 When I was a child

I remember you carrying me in your arms

the grey pseudo membrane covers my pharynx

making it difficult to breathe

Diphtheria was common in those days

You were turned away

from the footsteps of Holy family hospital

I saw despair

Flow down your cheeks

Where to now

You murmured

As I slipped into unconsciousness 


The haveli in Shimla

Amidst blue pines

You, your young family

My father, his brothers and sisters

Settled, content and happy

Forest was your business

Himalayan cedar, silver fir, white oak

Your touch turned them to gold

You took to the road in ‘47

Independence from British Raj and idolaters

carnage ensued

innocents, vulnerable

those who had no say, paid

The Punjabi sky above endured,

said no word but it poured

you spoke little about exodus of your own choice

and loss of everything

the hardship years, the eldest his fits of psychosis

chained, there was no PTSD in those days

people took things in their stride

his young siblings, their silent cries of pain

for the valley, the green trees

the wind that rustled between

the paths that led to nowhere

your hands never spoke of the stories

but you rebuilt the nest

and one by one they flew

some near

others to faraway lands


I want to know more about you grandpa

I am not small anymore but your legacy is so much bigger

One thing I am certain

giving up was never in our blood


Author's Notes/Comments: 

Today is my grandfathers 36th Death Anniversary, I usually pay a triibute in the form of a poem or a reflection. This year I thought of writing this one, a history of sorts, do leave your comments, thank you

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Not let it win!

                  Not let it win!  

 The memories roll in like a wave that hits the shore

Going back and forth filling your head till it’s sore

Why can’t I let go of the memories that are under my skin

Family tells me to let it go, to forget and not let it win

Life was supposed to be fun when I was a small girl of ten

But it was a nightmare to which happened over and over again

In school I was bullied i said not a word and kept my sorrow within

I prayed for it to stop and leave me alone and not let it win

Then all grown up and married to a monster who didn’t even care

He hit me for years and wouldn’t never stop till It was too much to bare

To have the will to keep moving forward and not just give up and give in

It will be my dream come true for a happy tomorrow to not let it win    


Author's Notes/Comments: 

i'm always saying to myself don't give up keep on going, there are days where i just want to give in but by doing that i fear i will let IT win and im to stubborn to do that lol


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Fight or Flight By jfarrell

Fight or Flight

By jfarrell


The door opens…

The unseen dog goes for me…

It’s owner raises his fist as I cower..

“I’ve had enough of people like you….”



My therapists tell me, the way the brain works,

All them hormones and chemicals being released,

It’s all about ‘Fight or Flight’

Our body preparing us

To resist or to run.


I freeze.

Anticipating the pain,

Anticipating the shame;

There is no running or fighting back

Just waiting for inevitable violence.


6 years old, my dad drunk, angry because….

I couldn’t spell bronchitis…. I took the wrong book to school…

My sister hurt herself at home, while I’m at school…

He’s mainly angry because he is unhappy with his lot

And this is his way of dealing with it.


6 years old - where would I run to?

6 years old - I’m gonna fight my dad?

Maybe, this is why no ‘fight or flight’;

Just waiting for the inevitable;

Waiting for the beating.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

no more fight or flight for me - my invisible dragon gonna burn everyone ;-)

To hear you say…

To hear you say…

By jfarrell


To hear you say “I love you”

I would have sprouted wings and flew

So happy, so joyous those words would have made me feel

From you, my mother


To hear you say “I’m proud of you”

I would have pulled the stars from the sky

And made of them a crown

For you, my mother


I heard you say “I should have smothered you at birth”

And I feel crushed, hated

Outcast and rejected

By you, my mother


I heard you say “I should have had you aborted”

And I feel aborted;

Stopped, cast aside

And incomplete


I still hear what you said

After all these years, over all these many miles

Has my silence, my absence, gotten through to you

After all these years, can you still hear me



I still want to hear you say

“I love you”

To me, your son

Author's Notes/Comments: 

sadly true

Building Bridges

Building Bridges

By jfarrell


Watch them burn…

Isn’t it beautiful?

That black, poisonous cloud, 25 years over South-East London…

Last time I saw my mum.


The pagoda pub….

Back then… burned down many times since,

With many different names…

Last time I saw my dad.


“Jim, you’re so negative……”

“Jim, you should really change your act…”

At least, on this one, I struck the match.

Last time I saw my, so-called, ‘friends’.


I’ve done my building bridges;

And all got spat back in my face;

Now I hold the matches

And I will set light to any bridge I see..


Take my hand and stand with me,

In the centre of the inferno;

The raging fire of bitterness;

The popping and thundering of burning hurt.


Put your arms around my waist,

And dance with me,

As if this was the last night on earth….

And now, is all we have.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

baby with a box of matches

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His Speakers

My father prefers to speak through songs rather than with words. Through time, he has created a collection of all sorts of musical devices: he owns a wide spectrum of headphones, LP and CD players, and those in our home’s history remember a couple of iPods and iPhones... This could go on and on but his favorite ones are the speakers you can find in the room at our home where he sometimes works. I remember being younger and the various times where my dad showed me how different music could sound, all depending where it was coming from. For a man of few words, he has a habit of religiously telling me that I need to feel it: The sound and tempo of strings, piano keys, and the beat of drums can all become tangible if I want to. Every weekend he gives himself time to test the different kinds of settings his speakers have and change them to his desires and preferences. They've been with him through it all: since the first day we moved to this house, to all the jazzy dinner meals he has prepared for us. Almost every Sunday he cooks us chicken and vegetables while he listens to his favorite songs from sessions of MTV Unplugged. Once he turns his speakers on, it feels like as if he's not in Monterrey anymore but in a land somewhere far away in his mind. There are times where I can’t differentiate the sounds between his devices but he can get so excited about them that I just can’t say anything else than “Yes, I do”.  Sometimes though, times are gloomy and he puts his music very quiet and stays inside his office all day long. I remember when he discovered a radio station from Montecarlo and how he used to put it on nonstop; he said it reminded him of one of the dreamiest trips he has experienced with my mother. Sometimes, she doesn't like it when (for her standards) the music is too loud. So when she’s away because of work, my dad sets up a daylong concert including genres such as bossa nova, jazz, 80’s Argentinian music, and much more. It’s quite funny how he secretly adds up speakers to his collection without telling anyone, they just appear in our house randomly. I don't remember a time in my life where music has not been relevant to his life.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Prose poem dedicated to my father.

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My Cousin's Dog

I used to visit my cousin’s house every weekend throughout middle school and high school, and I remember the night we were playing Xbox 360 and we heard knocks on the door. He attended, and a few minutes later he brought a tiny cage with a strange-looking border collie, her hair was white with blue and some black spots, one of her eyes was half blue and half white, the other was blue. She was a puppy, scared from the dark surrounding her except for the dim light the tv screen was projecting. My cousin then told me that he had bought her for a high sum of money, I had never seen a dog like that and would not believe how expensive it was. My cousin named her “Djoko”, he used to be a tennis player and a big fan of Novak Djokovic, the Cristiano Ronaldo of tennis. Days went by, Djoko would always be in the room with us, biting our toes while watching us play a wide range of videogames, I personally could not stand her bites, even for a puppy she had sharp and strong teeth, they even made me bleed once. We would walk her out sometimes, she needed to learn where she lived in case she ever got lost, and for us to do some muscular exercise since we would spend countless hours in the couch doing nothing productive other than gaming. Whenever a car passed by, Djoko would try to chase it, luckily though, my cousin was strong enough to hold her back with the leash, and of course he would get angry and tell her to not do that; Djoko never learnt, she was a herding dog, those that farmers use to herd sheep. Years went by, Djoko became a big, healthy pedigree dog; even while her hair fell off constantly, she always looked majestic, her barks could be heard from far away, and she was very playful, yet very aggressive towards other dogs. One sad day, Djoko was hit by a car, her front-right leg got badly injured, she had some of her skin peeled off enough to show some muscular tissue, however, she didn’t last much like that, Djoko was healthy again a few months later. When my cousin tried to breed her with a black border collie named “Pirata”, he would complain a lot about how hard it was to make her give in to Pirata, Djoko would bark and even attack him, but after a few days she finally gave in and gave birth to seven puppies, four were blue and three were black. I stopped seeing her for a while, because I had to come to Monterrey and study, but I know that if I ever visit my cousin’s house, Djoko will be there with the only puppy they kept named “Nova” who looks like Djoko, but younger. They will always be in the backyard, barking to some random  birds.

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You made me hate myself 
Made me think 
that I was
Not good enough
Not perfect enough 
To be your daughter 
I wanted to leave 
But you told me stories,
Made me terrified of the world so I stayed 
However things got worse 
And we both got in a fight 
And you kick me out in the middle of the night 
I felt broken and I was scared 
But I didn't let this destroy me
I found a place 
Where I felt comfortable and safe 
And I'm doing just fine
I still hate myself
But that's alright
Because one day
Your words will mean nothing to me
Just a thing of the past 
And I know that I will be able to say that
I am good enough
I am perfect enough 
And that I love myself



Back to back the night replays, 

Sitting here with a bottle called decay


And we’ve got the depression scented incense 

Sitting in a circle, wondering why it makes no kind of sense

Why I'm dwindling to live or live and suffer on the fence


I got fed up and left the room 

Went outside, tried to escape all that gloom

But what I found next was even worse, just rumors of doom


I visited this house I called home, but I’m not on the lease,

It all sounds so familiar, got the corpse of me laying there on center of the floor while you feast 

Got it displayed over there like an art piece 

Act like it was the true me, as if I was already deceased


But I’m still here, on the same broken couch, still sitting here 

You ignore me, go on, take another beer

Am I invisible? Do I not exist to you!?

Every part of me, debatable, divisible, that’s what you called only true.

I just want to find a breakthrough

And just like you, it never mattered, no matter what I do.

Just like you, 


It feels like an eternity since I left, I never cared to say goodbye 

All these broken objects still here, and I never understood why

But as I grew up, I know now, I know, it’s how you expressed to cry
The broken objects are a physical mental wall you built to hide
Broken and unwanted, justlike you,now I know, throwing it out was hard to decide


But you didn’t wanna outright say

You felt your own blood was a source of your betray

Leave the family, it’s better, leave them astray

Let her stay there, let her lay 

With all her demons she keeps at bay


I know now, your mind


Dementia kissed you on the cheek and made us her kind

And like you I met her too, I became contaminated 

We are only moved by the broken blinds

Forever Unanimated 


You worship this building and every hole in the wall

Hide insecurity, and all that was spoken, ignore another call.

Put duct tape over the mess, and defend it all 

I wanted to ask, when did you begin this journey just to fall? 



I should leave before the sickness drives me mad

And just like you I close the door 

Until next time, dad

I close the door, and leave the past on the broken, dirty floor.

But unlike you, I must defeat what you couldn’t

The thing like me that you always avoid, the tainted inner core



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