Snippet Series #19: Sweetness Challenge

Wrote this back in high school. I’ve always known that I was a sap, and everyone says I can be really sweet, so I decided to max it out. I prompted myself to write the most excruciatingly sugary love-struck adulation I could come up with. It’s ridiculously cringe-worthy, but similar to my Nightmare poem (which is also part of the Snippet Series), it was a landmark piece in helping me develop my writing style.

 


 

I try to find the words to describe you, but I just can’t. A soul as breath-taking as yours can’t be captured by anything as human and erroneous as a word, a humble sound that means absolutely nothing at all. A sound which once uttered is lost forever in the winds, a throng of lines that fade and disappear with age. No, your splendor is more long-lasting compared to shape-shifting language, in fact it is eternal. Your beauty exceeds what can be explained and what can be comprehended. Your wonderfulness isn’t comparable to the greatest of gems, or to the sweetest of luxuries. You awe and you enchant, you pause time and move my stone heart, and you warm my cold soul and embrace my thorny being. I melt before you, but you hold on and it keeps me in one solid piece.

How can one smile kill me and yet take away all the hurt? How can one glance cut me up and yet make me whole? Here I am falling, but I feel like I’m flying higher than the clouds, past the stars, and into heaven. Every single atom of my being thinks of you and cries out for how absolutely gorgeous you are. You make me so happy I’m on the verge of insanity. Everything you do, every single miniscule action you make, makes me sing and dance and rejoice to the Creator for so blessing the Earth with an angel like you.

The one second I met you is the only second I need. And I’m the luckiest human in the world just because I saw you. Now, since I’ve met you, I can say I’ve lived my life. I can die happy, but you keep me breathing even when you take my breath away. The simple memory of our first encounter will immediately heal any wound; the silent thought of your sweetness will fix all my problems. Everything’s beautiful because you are beautiful. Everything’s amazing because you are amazing. I am more than overflowing with ecstasy: one human being cannot contain the earth-turning memory of something as marvelous as you, not even all of the libraries and taverns and treasure chests of the world can hold a memory as grand and majestic as yours. Your memory is so deeply engraved it exists in everything I see and everything I do and everything I imagine and everything I dream about. It makes my heart beat and it flows through my veins and nourishes every inch of me and gives me strength to face this merciless world and be a champion, even though all I am is a slave to your wondrous brilliance.

My heart swells as it tries to keep this love for you, but every second it feels like it’ll burst, and I’m afraid that my poor heart is just too small for a love as humungous and outrageous as this love I have for you. I try to find the words to describe you – I go through all the dictionaries of all the languages and yet it still isn’t enough. I desperately try to make words that would be worthy to describe you, but your sweetness is more awe-inspiring than anything I can even dare to imagine; all the hairs would fall off my head, and I still wouldn’t find anything that comes close to you.

And then I’d try to paint you or take pictures and videos, but all of these infantile, try-hard copies are like dust compared to gold. I try fervently to compose the symphonies that I hear when the gates of heaven open whenever I see you, but even that shrivels in comparison to the drowning loveliness of your voice. Passionately I exert all my efforts to feed my need to love you, but nothing on Earth or in space will help me fill it except the thirst-quenching, enrapturing delight that is you.

 


 

No, I didn’t have anyone in mind when I wrote this. In fact, this was originally written from a guy’s perspective.

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Snippet Series #18: Arrival

Wrote this probs sometime in late August, before I arrived in Valencia.


 

Yesterday was one of the happiest days of my life. All the obstacles for the next stage of my life had officially been removed, and the future was wide, open, and beautiful. My family and friends wanted to celebrate with me, and some of them even said they were willing to take a leave from work if only to see me one more time. Also, I was able to fulfill a promise to a friend that I knew meant the world to him. On top of that, my favorite artists and author released something that really made me excited. I couldn’t help but dance out of joy.

And somehow, I remembered you. I think it was because of the story I was reading. In any case, somehow, the story made me realize that I really had loved you, back then. In a way, I still do. But I understand what I feel better now.

I remember how I used to be so scared of letting you go, of losing you, of forgetting you, of you one day meaning nothing to me. I was scared that you’d be replaced, that all the crazy things I felt and moments I lived when you were still such a big part of my life would be invalidated, somehow. I was scared that all this investment was for nothing, and that maybe on top of wasting my time and emotion, it would all just bite me in the end.

It was painful, the inevitable journey of getting over you. I was awash with shame and guilt and regret and loneliness and loss. It took me close to ten months just to stop thinking about you. And then after that, I thought I’d be free.

But when the anniversary of the last time we talked came around, it still haunted me. I had forgotten about the exact date in my consciousness, but as it waned closer, there was an anxious cloud hovering over me even if I couldn’t explain why it was happening. And then when I woke up on that day, the realization came crashing down like a storm. I almost broke down in tears in the camp room that I shared with twelve other girls.

And it still hurt that you didn’t congratulate me for passing my board exam, or for getting a scholarship abroad. It hurt that you didn’t greet me happy birthday. It hurt that you didn’t contact me again even if I would be leaving for a good two years.

My friends went through break ups, and even if we technically didn’t break up, they asked me for advice. I didn’t know why they were asking. I didn’t even know if what I would say would make sense. But… I could talk about how I had felt for the most part. I could finally talk about you openly, without being shy or ashamed. And somehow, they were able to find comfort in my experiences. Still… it always caught me by surprise whenever my voice would break and tears would threaten to fall.

It’s funny, because there would always be moments when I would feel like I was over you – like it didn’t hurt anymore, and that I had forgiven both you and myself. And I felt like maybe I really had forgiven both of us, and maybe I could talk about things without some sort of sting in my chest. But there was this sense of “what’s past is past” to it. Like yeah, it happened, but that was then, and this is now.

Was that really what moving on felt like?

Probably not. Not if I was still running away from our memories. Not if the things that reminded me of you had no spark left in them.

After remembering you yesterday, I dreamt of you last night.

You were in your uniform. Both of us had awkwardly been keeping distance from each other in the dream, but when I finally made eye contact with you, you relented and went over to me.

You hugged me more closely than you ever had in real life. But it felt like it had all those times in the past – complete, somehow. Full. Pure.

You asked me how I was, and I updated you. You updated me. I admitted that I missed you. I asked if you had forgiven me.

You said you did.

I hugged you again and thanked you. I asked if I could kiss you, just on the cheek. Honestly, it was something I had always wanted to do. Even after everything and all the denied emotions and buried thoughts, if you would let me, I felt like it would give me closure.

You said yes, in a confused way, but ultimately fine with it. So I went ahead and did it.

When I pulled away, you were looking at me, a little bewildered that I actually did it. But you smiled. You hugged me again and joked that you wouldn’t ever do something like that to me, unless it was like this – and then you quickly brushed your lips against my own cheek. Then you stepped back and we both just looked at each other, smiling.

I can’t remember what happened next. I think maybe I was called by someone to go somewhere, and you were too. We went our separate ways.

And I know it was just a dream. But it meant a lot. And it made me realize something.

I finally understand what people mean when they say someone is always going to be a part of them. It’s not just objectively accepting that they changed you as a person, or that they were part of your past. And it’s not some sort of sappy, emotionally hung-over hope that one day you two would be reunited.

There was something I said before, “One day I’d only see your shortcomings. One day I’d laugh at your face and laugh at how I had felt. And that is the natural order of things. How many other times had my perception of a boy undergone that same process? Countless. And I remember how all those times before, I had longed for the day when I’d forget them. When the pain of not having them would go mute, and the distraction from work would disappear.”

But the truth is… the other boys in my life… after I had healed enough from them, I had always looked back on the memories with fond thoughts. I remember their good sides more than their shortcomings. I laughed at how I had once been attracted to them, sure, but it was still something precious to me, the same way you are endeared to a child for being silly. And though I had hated acting out of character before… I’m a lot more merciful now. There’s a liberation to being in love. It’s okay to be stupid happy for a while.

And I still miss those boys. And I still think about them every now and then. And I would always want to spend an afternoon hanging out with them and being kids again. I wouldn’t undo things – I’m happy where I am right now, and I’m happy for them, wherever they are. But they still make me smile, when I think of them.

And now you’re like that, too. I smile when I remember you. I’m finally here. I’m thankful.

Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for being you. And I’m thankful God put you in my life, even for the short period that you were in it. I still love you. Not in a soulmate kind of way, but I love you, and I love them, and I love all these people who I have shared a part of myself with. I hope that doesn’t change.

Wishing you all the best. May your story make everyone’s hearts soar.

Snippet Series #17: Nightmares

I’ve been looking for this for a while, and it’s purely chance that I stumbled across a copy of it.

This is the very first poem that I wrote that made sense. Everything prior to this was required by class and/or was pretty infantile, in my opinion. Literally, lines were like “The rat scurried under the hat/So that he could run away from the cat”.

I wrote this in second year high school. Some of the verses just suddenly jumped into my mind while I was sleepily listening in class, and for several days, I couldn’t shake the words out of my head. So I wrote it all down. I probably finished writing the whole thing during break time. Ever since I wrote this, my writing has been noticeably better. It’s weird.

I didn’t know what the poem was about while I was writing it – I just know that the images were powerful and honestly kind of disturbing. It was only after I had a friend read it that it was pointed out to me that it was about poverty. It’s pretty obvious when you see it now, but when I wrote it, I just saw the voiceless suffering and the cold, detached outcasting. I still remember how unreal it felt to see those images in my head, but then… this is what’s happening in the world today.

I’ve edited it a little so that it flows just a little bit better.


 

The nightmares I had as I lay

Haunt me even into the day

Rain has stopped, clouds left the sky

But tears still flow from my eye

 

The world overflows with the sun’s beam;

I am blinded by the harsh gleam

The world sounds of sweet melodies

But all I hear are cries of misery

 

They eat from a feast and drink wine

She eats the scraps they left behind

He is naked; He has no clothes

Blessed treasure are the rags they loathe

 

 

They live in mansions of grandeur

She dwells on the streets with lepers

Their children play in flowered fields

I see the bloody knife he wields

 

The biting chill is his blanket

He’d be warmer in a casket

The world sleeps on beds of roses

She sleeps with flies, dogs and corpses

 

Starved flies come to feast on his skin

Hungry worms eat him from within

She is lost in a world of black

Lying dead and cold on her back

Snippet Series #16: Ink

Getting inspiration from a pen and paper is like extracting water from the air. Not impossible, but not easy either.


It’s been weeks. That’s too long for me.

I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to just let my thoughts flow from the hidden spring of my mind, through the stream of my fingertips around the hard plastic of my ballpoint, and unto the white sea of paper slowly being filled with the colorful words of black ink.

No, I was a fool to say that.

What human, upon tasting the sweetness and feeling the rush of inspiration pump into their veins, can fail to remember the awesome beauty of simple words strung together in an attempt to hold a moment for just a little longer? No one can forget the freedom one gets and the power one feels upon indulging in their imagination. Those who claim to have forgotten have never really felt it. How can one forget? To experience it is to want it continuously, to be lost in addiction to it.

Snippet Series #15: Imaginary Companion

I’m just sitting here wishing I could draw you. Wishing that I could hold the memory of your beautiful grin just long enough for that. But no – like a needle pulling thread you surface and dive into the colorful fibers of my unstable imagination. It seems that the harder I grip, the quicker the grains of your image run out of my mind’s hands. Your memory is a fragile butterfly that I may only ever watch and never hold, lest I kill it. The ribbons of my thought run and flutter, sketching your face on the canvas of the sky, but it is all blown away by the wind. I delve into the sweet pool of watercolored dreams and blend into the paints of a fantasy I pretend to be reality. All of it is a delightful illusion that shifts like the shades of the deep ocean.

Snippet Series #14: Dragon’s Wrath

I think something was making me bitter when I wrote this back in high school.


 

Dragon eyes of fierce despise:

You cough up flames of painful memories

And ravage the towns and peaceful valleys.

Your wrath kills kings and massacres nations,

You guardian of hell and master of demons.

You feed on the tragedies of mankind

And wreck creation, leaving nothing behind.

Soul of hate, you feast on Earth,

Flourish on the misery of one’s birth.

Dragon – you idol of of angry hate

Seal each soul’s irrevocable fate.

How dare you burn and bite my heart?

You are the Da Vinci of this dark art.