Whispered In The Wind

Whispered In The Wind
Just a fairy blowing in the wind, singing tales to the west wind

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sea Glass

Hope is the thing with feathers.That perches in the soul..
-Emily Dickinson
~also inspired by the character Roxanna the Angel in the wonderful book Moonlight On The Avenue Of Faith~

At night, I dreamt I had wings. Wings: soft, small, emerald, sea green wings that gently brushed against my bare shoulders when I walked under the night sky. Wings that I would wrap around me when it was a cold night. Wings that would carry me gently into the clouds and fly me away.


My entire life my mother told me I was a runaway, like my ancestors before. I was a wild gypsy at heart.I would never settle, the sea and earth would always call my name. She told me it was a curse, that my feet would always bleed, but I would never be able to escape. I would never fly.

Maybe she once dreamed too. She must have dreamed of running, of flying,of escape. But of my childhood memories of her,I mostly remember her strong arms, the way she refused to touch me when I cried, how she never spoke more than she needed to. I remember her smell; of wood, smoke and soap.

 She threatened to tie me to my bed at night, to cage me. She reminded me I was never to run, because those who run will only chase themselves in circles. And I believed she loved me. But she was afraid. She was the one tied to her bed, the one caged. So she tried to make me accept the fate she could never resign herself to: that she, that we, could never run away. We would never fly. In my head, I began to call her the caged bird.I refused to become like her. 

I don't know when I first dreaming of flying away. I am not even sure what I wanted to fly away from. I was not a happy child, but since I knew of no other way of existing than in the grey moods of my family, I didn't realize there was any other way to live. I was simply alive. And I knew I wanted to fly.

 I had this small idea that I was something special. Something different than a small child, born to a poor child, with a mother that never embraced me and a father that never embraced her. I felt that deep inside me was this sort of glow, this warmth that if I concentrated enough I could spread to the tips of my fingers and almost see. I told my mother about it once. She shook her head and said "It's called hope."
I asked her "Do you have a hope, mama?"
She sighed, quietly. "Sometimes."

She never told me what it was. 

 But my hope convinced me that if I pushed it hard enough that maybe it would spread all over me and gently grow feathers from my back. So I would stand on my bed, when the rest of the house had gone to sleep. I would open my window, the one with the broken screen. Then quietly I would take the torn screen out and face myself towards the open window. Then I would close my eyes and concentrate. I would push the warmth inside me all through my body, till I could feel warmth pulsing through me. I would feel it press my skin, trying to burst out. I could feel it spiraling and swirling through my legs. Then I would begin to imagine my wings.

My deep sea emerald wings, with soft feathers. My wings that shimmered. My wings that caught moonbeams and danced with the soft light of the stars. The wings that would one day take me away from here. Away from my small bed and away from the stale days. My wings that would show me the Caspian sea, the golden hills, the cold mountains. My wings that would show me the secrets my family held from me, that would tell me the fairytales my mom refused to let me read. My wings would be my freedom. My wings would make me free.

And as I imagined my wings, as I pushed my eyelids together, willed myself not to open them, sometimes, something would happen. I would feel a warm breeze against my cheek, or think I felt my foot float off my bed. I would swear I felt a feather grow from my back, or smell the sea. But as soon as I opened my eyes, I would be simply in my room. I would be simply standing on my bed in my too small white nightgown, surrounded by fading and flaking paint of the four walls of my room. Nothing was different, nothing was new. I had no wings. So every night I tried again and every night I crawled into my creaky bed, wingless. But I never gave up on growing my wings.. through weeks, months and years.

So on one night, many later but much like the others, I stood on my bed, facing my window. My nightgown was now above my knees, pulled across my chest. My chest had begun to bud and I pulled at the nightgown uncomfortably. My legs had grown longer and I stared down at their whiteness, surprised by their length. I placed my hands on my hips. They felt alien, curved and widened.

 I sensed this was my last chance, that night I had to fly. I had to fly before womanhood claimed me, before my mother demanded to be free of me, before marriage came to cage me. I needed to fly tonight. 

I needed to fly before the young man next door with the brown eyes and heavy eyebrows stopped only making eyes at me and began to speak to me. I needed to fly before the matchmaker with her smell of tobacco and cracking voice began to pinch my cheeks and appraise me like her newest ware. I needed to fly before I was forced to wear a shawl over my long hair to protect my womanhood, to light the sabbath candles in a new home that I would be ruled over in. 

So I closed my eyes and felt my warmth inside. I coaxed it through me, hummed quietly, asking the warmth to spread to my back, to finally grow out my wings. I knew they were there, I saw them in my dreams. I just needed them to finally bloom from my body. I felt the warmth reverberate through me.
whispering under my breath

I opened my eyes, slowly.


Like the nights before, like the years before, I was still wingless. I crawled into my bed. I pulled myself into a ball and I wept. All the tears I had saved through the nights came welling through my eyes, burdened my eyelashes and ran down my cheeks. Tears began to run; streams of water from my eyes.  And my tears were salty. They were salty like the Caspian sea and they shone...

Emerald green.

I caught one green, luminescent tear on my tongue and swallowed it. And then sighing, I began to fall into a deep sleep. I dreamt of my emerald wings, felt them grow from my shoulders and back, push through my soft white skin. 

I was no longer wearing my white nightgown, my skin was bare. I saw the moonlight wrap itself around me, clothe me in beams. I felt my wings brush against my bare shoulders. I dreamt I stood up on my bed and floated out the window, flew into the sky. I grasped at clouds and stared into the windows of sleeping children. I perched in a tree and watched two lovers embrace in a park, saw from above a man run away from the police into a dark alley. I winked at stars and danced through the tops of trees. And slowly I came upon the emerald sea.

I curled my wings and slowly descended down. The ocean breeze danced around me. I felt the cold, soft sand between my toes, walked toward the green waters. I dipped my fingers in the sea, water dripping down my hands in cold, wet streaks. I cupped a handful to my mouth, tasted the salt. I tasted my emerald tears. This ocean..it was my ocean. It was my tears. And deep inside me, I dreamt I laughed. An ocean of tears, I created my own ocean. And I laughed.

As the night wore on, I curled myself on the shores of my ocean. I curled myself into a ball, my pillow a pile of cold sand and slowly lulled by the crashing waves, I slept. 

And as all good dreams do, mine ended. It was the light of morning and I woke in my little bed, in my little grey colored room, in my faded life. I was still in my small nightgown. I sighed and felt a tear run down my cheek. It was a clear, water tear. It tasted of tears, not ocean. I had only dreamed, I had only dreamt. I rubbed the sleep and tears out of my eyes.  I pulled myself out of bed and set my feet on the floor. 

I felt something soft touch my foot. I looked down.

There at my feet, lay a single emerald green feather. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

To My Middle School Self

Dear Middle School Me,

Honey, I know
I know what it's like to be born with 2 hearts and extra sensitive skin
to pour everything into everyone and just end up playing therapist for the world
Honey, I know what it's like to realize your sequined dresses have begun to pull across your chest
and red clogs grown too small
It's called growing up and honey, I promise it hurts a lot
but not too much
you're strong, girl
It will just take a while for you to realize flowers are a form of strength
they are in danger of picking, of being squished in clamped sweaty palms, so very delicate
but they come up every spring and they grow roots deep
You're always going to be a flower
And yes girl, you're strong
like a wild rose or a white callalily
And I've smeared enough eyeliner on my nose to know that you are never going to be a perfectly painted canvas
And that's alright, you never needed to be anyways
You have your daddy's sea sparkle eyes and those high cheek bones
You can't see them yet, but you're going to thin out
you won't get any taller
but you'll always be talented at hiding in cupboards and running in heels
It's going to take a while to feel pretty, but one day you are going to be able to look at yourself in a window reflection and whisper “That girl, she's not bad.”
You are always going to cry over math, it doesn't get any easier
You will spend long nights cursing geometry and the twisted mathematicians who created compasses
but you are going to learn not to define yourself by what you're bad at, because you'll find a heartbeat in words
Keep writing, honey
Honey, I know it's hard to be an flower child with a soft soul, but I promise you as long as you keep writing
you'll never be alone
So don't be so guarded, let yourself breath and never ever be ashamed of your tears
they will become a strength
This world is too dry, it's going to need your watering
Honey, you will never be able to change the world on your own or find your reflection in mud
so don't be afraid to hold someone's hand when they need it, but more importantly
be honest when you need a hand
I've watched you pretend for years that you don't need people.
Honey, I know you well enough to know you are always going to be a horrible liar
You try so hard to control, to be the impact slammed against cracked souls
but influence, don't control
Honey girl, I know
I know, honey, I know
And yes, in case you were wondering,
You are beautiful despite all the inadequacy you feel
But no, you are never going to be good enough for yourself
We'll learn to accept that one day.
And it will take a while to find yourself, but one day you will be able to say
“honey, I know you.”
And honey, you will get stronger, it will all get better
I promise
Because honey, I know.
I've been there.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Eye Shadow

~Performed this at Tri-District Slam~

She told me poetry just wasn't “her thing.”
But the way she said it made poetry sound like a color of eyeshadow that was only flattering if you were born with the right eye color
Like I was born with a poet's eye and hence smeared poetry on my eyelids was a shade only I could pull off
That I could wake up in the morning and say “I think a little Shakespeare sparkle would look good.”
Or was she suggesting that I don't wear lipstick because I already have sonnets stained on my lips?
But when I look through my makeup bag of dried out chap stick and caked glimmer I've never used, I don't see any bottles or compacts labeled “Prose, apply daily, twice if teenage angst breaks out.”
There's this saying that inside of everyone is the soul of a poet who died young
and I don't know what saved mine but I know she's isn't my substitute for a bottle of foundation
rather, she is my foundation.
Because Poetry isn't a way to powder color into my cheeks or pretend
I have a fairer complexion than I do
Yes, it's a way I view the world
but it's also a lifestyle I choose
I'm not getting on stage because I have a physical addiction to complaining in poetic form or I have a broken heart that oozes out lyrical love sick words promising to soak our feet in salty poetic tears
That's not how I view poetry
I once sat in a room of short haired, warm skin, soft souled old woman in a closed library as they taught be Japanese haiku and haibon
that room was the poetry
At lunch I like to pick wild flowers and weave garlands during science
and my favorite food is my mother's matzo ball soup
Every morning I see fog roll over Mount Tam like an ancestral dragon in the mist
When I look around me, I see, feel, taste, become poetry
Because for me, Poetry is love
my personal chicken soup for the soul, my soul cooking for the world
Poetry is the way I love
love of the idea that humanity still has hope as long as yellow flowers peek their petaled heads from dew heavy dawns
Poetry is my mom's sunny hair and sneaking outside late at night to talk to my favorite stars
their twinkled replies
The way I make sense of bruises, tears and broken history
by finding the poem in shards of glass, deserted dreams and scraped knees
It isn't a magical formula, a tube of cosmetics I apply to make myself look intelligent
It's just the weight of worn textbooks on my back
the copy of Little Woman I dropped in the bathtub 3 times
I don't have an amazing story
Just a lot of love
Love of others, of myself, of beauty, of words
Even when I'm yelling, even when I'm slamming words into your face
Poetry is the idea that broken emotion soaked thoughts sewn together can create something beautiful
And that's why, for me, poetry is love
So when I say, “I wrote you a poem, may I read it please?”
all I'm really saying is
I love you.

Monday, May 7, 2012


I am built of pasts
all compounded to one me
I am tears I shed
the bruises that sculpted me
I am built of matzah ball soup
and grandma's hugs
the taste of lemons on your tongue
with a scoop of sugar
I am the aleph-bet
a living history of my people
I am a girl
defined by her heart
judged by her actions
I am the flower in my hair
weaved into life
growing strong and bright
but delicate
and in danger of being picked
I am the pencil pressed notes
The hours I pour mental energy in
till there is no time left for
anything else
I am a deep slumber
at peace with vivid dreams
but plagued with nightmares
I am the stars
but my light hits earth years after it first shone
burning out of gas
falling star
shooting star
I am like no one else
but every wide eyed-owl child in a sea of faces
just a grain of sand between your feet
a shell in your hands
I am a Jew
Russian, German
tainted with the blood of history
cursed by the sin of men
carrying burdens forced by no fault of my own
generational traits I will have to face
parts of me sculpted by acceptance
built on cracking lies
I am an old building
strong and regal once
but a fading beauty
needing repair
I am the ocean
wild and free
the stallion in the field
I am my past, present and future
I am every moment that ever happened
all leading up
to another human
just another me
Just another Inkspinner
spinning out prose to save the threads of my humanity

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. "

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. "
"When asked not to make waves, I just smiled and said, don't worry this is just a ripple"