The Brown Eyed Dreamer

'Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.' William Wordsworth


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Block.

I miss writing. It used to be that a pencil never left my hand, that ideas always fled into my head. I’d write whenever I could find time, and whenever I didn’t really have time too. Characters, plots, journeys and worlds would flood from my mind and spill onto paper, filling page after page of the cheap notebooks I bought from the store. I loved building a  story until it almost become a world around me, with most nights spent scribbling down everything I could think of until I could get my characters to the end of their adventure. I miss the thrill of new ideas, the hours spent in the corners of libraries and cafés planning and the satisfaction of finishing.

These days, there’s not enough time, not enough energy. School builds walls around my daydreams, reminding me of my responsibility to do well, of the importance of my future, while all the time my mind scurries like a bird trapped in a cage, willing to escape from studying for subjects I care nothing for. And as all this is happening, a greater wall looms above, dark and menacing, blocking any idea from coming to me. I feel trapped, bored, yet too exhausted to make a change.

But I swear, this drift is only temporary, and I will be back. A mind cannot stay trapped forever, and soon the shackles of exams will be broken and I’ll be free to spend hours filling pages with every trace of my thoughts. Soon I can go back to the one thing I love most. And when I get back, maybe the sparks will ignite and ideas will burst back into life, and I can carry on as before; a dreamer.

That’s all I can hope for, for now.


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I Wear My Dreams

I wear my dreams
Around my neck,
So hope lies close to me.
Slim silver chain
Holds silver tower,
And tiny silver key.

Tower talks of tales,
In new lands where
Real towers stand tall.
Key holds the secrets
Of mind’s wishes,
And silver chain holds all.


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I Think I’ll Be Okay.

The last couple of weeks have been awful. Exam stress and my over thinking mind combined to make a minefield of angry bombs exploding doubts and fear in my face no matter how precariously I stepped to avoid their trap. I spent so much time feeling horrible and people were beginning to notice, some even commenting on it, asking me to cheer up. But it was only this morning I realised something very important. I was in a bad place, but that wasn’t a bad thing.

I realised I’m allowed to get sad once in a while. I can lock myself in my room, turn off the lights and turn up my music. I can spend hours listening to Radiohead and David Bowie and crying silently into a pillow. I can write down everything I feel, let every slice of pain, doubt and anger cutting at my mind splash onto the page before me. I can fall asleep or just lie there motionless, thinking of everything and nothing. I can stay in there all night without emerging, alone, slow steady chords rolling forlornly through my head. I can be sad if I want to. It’s normal. It’s human.
I can always be happy tomorrow. But if I’m not happy in the morning, that’s okay too. I can refuse to get dressed or put effort into my appearance. I can make myself food and go back to my room, passing half-heartedly mumbles to my parents as I pass. I can ignore text messages, Skype calls, human contact. I can refuse to see people I don’t want to see. I can shut myself off if I want to. It’s ordinary. It’s fine.
People seem to believe that sadness is a bad thing. That crying is weakness, and not being okay is definitely not okay. But let me tell you something- you don’t have to be happy today. You don’t have to be happy tomorrow. If you don’t want to be better today, you don’t have to be. You’re not weak because you’re sad and can’t face it anymore; you’re strong because you’ve carried pain this far. Everyone has a time when they’re down. You shouldn’t feel pressured to be alright just because everyone else wants you to be happy. You’re not a burden because you don’t feel your best.
You’re a person, and if you’re sad, you can be sad. Just know that even if you don’t want to be happy now, there will be a day when happiness will be a welcome friend. And on that day you can step out and take its hand and it will be just fine, I can promise you that. But until then you can cave into your sorrow if you want. To hurt is to be human. Happiness is patient; it will wait. That is the lesson I learnt this morning.
So no, today I am not okay, and tomorrow I may not be okay either. But guess what? That’s okay.


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Raindrop’s Revival

I like to walk in streets of rain,
When droplets gently prod my skin,
Slipping down collars along spine,
Cold streams tracing icy lines.
Shivers escape from between blue lips,
As golden sun escapes eclipse,
Shafts of light pour through darkened cloudy clots,
Lift my head, heavy with darkened cloudy thoughts,
Towards horizons where hope still survives,
A brief reminder, I am alive.


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I Promise.

When I promised them I was getting better, I wasn’t lying. I am getting better. Food doesn’t lodge itself venomously in my throat like it used to, and calories and calculations don’t swim before my eyes anymore. I can face mirrors and have learnt to ignore most of the screaming taunts from my mind; the urge to shatter my mocking reflection into a thousand tiny pieces is mostly gone. I’m learning to ignore the judging eyes and smirks that play upon muttering lips as I pass by, and snide little comments are beginning to hurt me a lot less than they used to. I’m finding my feet and picking myself up again, and I am getting better, promise.

But sometimes, when I look behind me to where I used to be, temptation grabs me like a rope clutched around the neck and pulls me backwards, and suddenly it seems okay to make excuses and ‘forget’. Suddenly the mirror wailing out my flaws for the world to hear seems like almost like an old friend, helping me find perfection by pointing out the imperfection. And in the depths of my wildest thoughts, I can’t help but cave in to the pleasure of wrapping my arms around my body in the cold air, rubbing fingers across flesh and feeling the ridges of bones protruding where they really shouldn’t. And in those moments, I can hear a distant crack that sounds vaguely like a cry into the darkness or the slow breaking of an innocent heart, the gentle wail of a promise slowly breaking.


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The Clear Out

In a cold, cluttered study dimly lit by a bulb encased in a thick layer of grime, a man stands surveying old, flaking walls filled with bookshelves and cabinets, head cocked on one side as he impatiently tuts and looks around him. A room once the hub of his home and working life now sits dormant and forlorn in the cold October sun peering through cracks in the yellowed blinds. A room once so lively and loved now seems as alone and lost as the man standing within.

He takes a step forward and roughly glides a finger across the nearest shelf, leaving a bright trail of mahogany standing stark among the surrounding layer of dust. Lips curling in disgust and rubbing his covered finger on his jumper, he sighs. This room, now of no use and an annoyance to him, needs clearing desperately.
As a plan forms in his head, he leaves the room only to return a few seconds later armed with every cleaning utensil he can find. He then starts clearing out the room. Initially, he takes his time, taking each item off the shelves and inspecting it before deciding what to do with it. But as each dog-eared novel and notebook full of scribbles is salvaged from the dust and dirt of the shelves, old memories resurface themselves to mock and taunt him. Memories of days where writing was his life and words tumbled out of him like droplets onto a page, and the world around him held the fascination of a child. But too many rejections from snotty publishers can make a man bitter in his ways, and soon his bubble of ignorance was torn as the world became cruel and unforgiving. Suddenly the passion of the world was gone, and a dream to write died along with this room.
Memories flood back like flames, taunting him with their flickering, fiery tongues. Fury filling his core, he flings out his arms and pushes every item into bin bags, grabbing books, ornaments and ornate ink pens and throwing them to walls, ignoring the glass smashing and ricocheting off the walls. Ripped pages fall like burning ashes to a floor filled with shattered glass and puddles of blue ink stains sinking into the carpet.
His crazed cleaning does not stop until he grabs hold of an old glass photo frame and a jagged edge catches his skin. He curses loudly as it draws blood and looks down towards his cut, only to be stopped short by what he sees.
It’s an old frame, a photograph within that had been blocked and almost faded from memory. He sees himself, a young man of only twenty, standing beside his childhood hero, a published author whose name he cannot recall now. He looks upon the uncontrollable smile on the young him’s face, the eyes shining with childlike eagerness, and that day comes back to him like a bolt of lightning. He remembers meeting this man, and sharing with him the hope of one day joining him with the esteemed title of ‘author’, his love of writing and wanting to write forever. And most of all he remembers the author looking at him with an almost fatherly smile, patting his shoulder and saying, ‘If you want it enough you can do it. Never give up on a dream like that.’
The statement echoes through the man’s head and around the room, bouncing and echoing off the bare walls. Never give up on a dream like that. The frame drops from between his shaking fingers, landing with a dull thud below him. He stops; sinks slowly to the ground. Everything is too much. How could he forget this? How happy he had been then, how full of joy and life… memories flood back once more, but this time like rushes of water coaxing the tears from his eyes as he falls forward onto his hands, sobs rocking his whole body. He balls up his fists and beats the ground, yelling to a man who is not there, who cannot hear him.
‘Never give up?! You can’t even begin to unravel an idea before reality shoots it dead now! I’ve been shot down one too many times, I’m wounded. I GIVE UP. I can’t get back up this time.’
The cold, empty shelves stare at the man sunken and broken in the centre of the room with blank, harsh stares. Tiny speckles of blood spurt from a cut in his hand, but that short, sharp pain is nothing compared to the tearing of his heart, the thumping of his head, the desolate thud as his stomach drops. No pain could compare to that of a man falling apart from the seams. Tears fall relentlessly from his eyelids, and his body lurches forward and back with pain, as emotion floods out of him in a tidal wave of desperation, total loss and turmoil.
‘I can’t get back up this time,’ he whispers, his eyes shut to try to bottle in the pain, ‘I can’t get back up.’


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A New Year

When people ask me, ‘Did you enjoy 2012?’, I have to think for a second before answering. Because in that moment, a thousand thoughts flurry through my mind’s eye in a kaleidoscope of colours and emotions.

I see family, friends, laughter, tears, shouting, cheering, love, loss, good points and bad points. I see late nights spent whispering, texting, over-analysing, crying and daydreaming with youthful hope. I see mornings spent running, eating, talking and dancing around my kitchen with my dog. I see a relationship that flourished then shrivelled and grew worn like a flower after Summer’s last sun. I see a friendship that became something more, then simply faded away. I see a summer that could’ve been the best and almost became the worst of my entire life. I see a fractured self-esteem only now learning how to mend itself. I see a dark time of trying to find answers to questions I didn’t have, a time where hands reached out and pulled me back up to a place of light and hope. I see faces, some happy, some sad, some just thoughtful. I see memories which I’ll cherish long after these years are over, memories that will still bring a shine to my eyes and a smile to my lips long after they happened. I see a new year, promising and full of childish hope and naïvety, just waiting for me to explore. I see it all, and then, coming out of my daze, I answer.
‘It’s been an interesting year,’ I reply, a small smile playing on my lips and the glint of a thousand memories and secrets yet untold reflecting in my curious eyes.