In conjunction with National Poetry Month, Echo Media is proud to introduce our first ever Poetry Special! We’ve compiled 6 equally compelling poems for you guys, each written by a member of our very own Creative Writing Team.
Here are the first 3 poems, be sure to stick around for Part 2 *wink*.
by Natasha Effendy
“Temple” is a poem that talks about self-love, caring for yourself and femininity within subtle religious imagery. Based on the phrase “my body is my temple”, the poem highlights loving your own skin and accepting it. At the same time, it also emphasises how you have to personally build your own sanctuary in order to grow. This involves growing and watering your fruit and flowers, being vulnerable and finding solace within nature’s reach. But such efforts are never easy, so my poem is a reassurance; that it’s okay to struggle to establish your temple and make it yours.
you say your body is your temple.
you pray to your structure and form
and preach your sacred roots
in the name of self-love
as you purified yourself
in the nearby lake-
you had your bones ground up
to make the cement walls
that wrapped around you like skin
and your hair grew long enough
so you could take shelter
under the heaviest of rains
and the blood that flew in your veins
became the holy wine and water
that formed part of your nature.
but why do you also take part
of the exquisite agony
of a capitalised self-alterations
that break down the doors
of your beautiful temple?
you poke holes into your walls
with all these filler needles
and you erode the cement down
with implants and piercings-
it breaks my heart, really
because i watch you make these
decisions and artificial changes
onto what you deemed holy
because this is painful to me,
to have your temple ruined by
the words of someone unworthy.
your body is your temple only-
you don’t have to hurt your body
or wear your walls down
for the benefit of society
who keeps calling you ugly.
i think there is no such need
for you to abuse your body
with unhealthy routines
that feed you just bad things
instead you making sure
you’re feeling good and clean
because the definition of pretty
is forever ruined by somebody
forever poisoned by jealousy
because they cannot achieve
your level of goddess-like beauty;
i want you to water your flowers
and nurture them religiously.
immerse yourself in nature
and make use of the wasteland
that exists between you
and hundreds of fates.
open the doors and the windows
so that your temple can breathe.
i want you to plant some trees
so you can harvest the fruit
of your hard-earned labour,
and savour the sweet, sweet taste
of what it’s like to live on earth.
i want you to reflect underwater
and fertilise the soils of your story
so you can grow the colours
for the painting of your temple.
To Be A Poem
by Lillian Lai Ruey Yee
I have always been the type to bite my tongue-
To watch the way it wraps around my words and swallows them whole.
Holes and abysses of missed timings
and things I should have said
And sentences I wish I could rewrite and
Surround myself with witty words until by proxy,
I, too, am a sentence.
I, too, was crafted to have more meaning than just
a spit-slicked, flesh-and-bones sewed body.
More than paper mache:
shape and skin of a person,
a pin pricked balloon body,
All the parts of me I beseech myself to be.
You see, I long to be the poem instead of the poet.
I want to be written into stanzas of shifting moods, and spoken into existence-
How nice it must be to be carved into a caricature of beauty?
In poetry, even your pain can be picturesque:
You can paint your fears into a simile,
And plate your insecurities into consumable; bite-sized.
Into relatable, into just a little bit personal
But not too much, never too much.
I want to be just enough.
Just enough to fit into three minutes, or 300 words,
Or the same number of syllables in each line
Or telling the same story enough times
It starts to sound like it is worth something.
Somebody once told me, mouth set and spoken firmly:
“Poetry is not about the poet, it’s about the poem”
I don’t remember their face but
I remember their words- verbatim.
Maybe if I am the poem,
If my skeleton was the structure
If my blood were the way it flows off the page
If my skin were the words I never meant to say
But my breath were all the sentences I could rewrite and
If I am the poem,
Perhaps I will be enough.
Fleur De Lys
By Shay Azman
Glass skin; chalcedony,
Soft touch; warm as milk,
Smile still; sweet as honey,
Pale voice; songs of silk,
Eyes wide; dimmed yet hopeful,
Thick roots; laced with ebony,
Modest frame; humble and faithful
Blush strokes of lilac stained peonies,
False tale of her fragility;
They’d say; Sing, grin but not loudly,
Twirl, spin, dance with agility,
Pray, sin, but not proudly,
For there she was, a sight of a deity
In all the land, stood the tamest lily.
“Be my little flower; delicate and docile”
Where is the tenderness in your calling?
“Chin up, little flower, show a sweet smile,”
Why do I find you ever so appalling?
Wait for me, stay with me, say to me;
“I am your flower”,
How unfortunate it is he could not see,
I will not comply; And be your flower
Why is it that he had a say in what I was to be?
This sense of foreign and undeserving power,
He who knew nothing of me,
Though bright and docile, she was never a flower,
She was always a bee.