All I needed



Different languages (and no translation)

“I love you and maybe I didn’t say it or show it the way you wanted. I’ll give you that. But at least I never lied to you, pretended to be something I am not. I couldn’t bring myself to fake it, to buy flowers and write cards on cue. I tried to show you in other ways, bringing you a cup of Earl Grey tea when you were studying and cooking on nights you were tired.”

Excerpt From: Hiraeth. “Hiraeth Phoenix.” 

Heart set free

“For such a long time I blamed you for not fighting for me, for us, for not giving me the movie ending where you rush to meet me on the beach at sunset and poetically declare your undying love in sonnet form (or burst into ballad with your guitar). Except today, today while I watered my Frangupanis and looked at the mountain and smelt the sea air, I realised your actions may have spoken of a much deeper love: the kind that sets a restless soul free to find its wings (and soar).” – copyright HiraethPhoenix 2015

Happy New Year

I wish you sunsets of love
With seasons of renewal,
Laughter and light;
Endless waves of beauty
To awaken your soul and remind
You where you come from
And how much possibility exists.
And when the storms rage and ruin,
I hope these moments provide the
To always find your way back
To you.

Copyright Hiraeth 2014

Flicker flame

I always thought of myself as a lightbulb, lighting up for you. I think it was obvious to everyone. The mere sight of you would start my cheeks glowing and soon my smile would be so big that too much of my teeth would show. I lit up for you.

For a while the energy sustained us, burned to keep us alive, afloat. And then one day, I started questioning the fairness of one flame.
And I put that fucking flame to death.

Copyright Hiraeth 2014


“There is fuck all out there”, you said, loud enough that I jumped at your tone and knew that finally there was some emotion, even anger was a start to some dialogue about what next. Except it was too late. Emotion and I had long cut ties. Anger, disappointment and sadness, made way for a sea of nothingness. I felt nothing. You launched into a monologue about loyalty and history and first loves and following sunsets and beaches.

I remember staring at the Bougainvilleas outside in our garden and thinking how beautifully they have meshed into each other. It took years for that to happen, years for them to branch out and reach each other, covering the wall for privacy. At least they made the effort, I thought. The ice maker of the fridge grunted in agreement to your list of reasons to stay (at any other time, it may have been some comic relief) and the wedding photo on the antique writing desk looked suddenly out of place. I always thought it should have been a colour photo, you insisted black and white was timeless. Like you thought we were.

Except we weren’t. And as the clock struck three, I thought now is as good a time as any.

“But what if there is,” I said.
And you paled and left, the Bouginvilleas framing our end.

Copyright HiraethPhoenix 2014


“Let’s just stay here, frozen in time. We will be each other’s comfort, the old pair of slippers that perfectly mould to your feet, the duvet you have since adolescence, stained by the memories of raging hormones. The sound of Bruce Springsteen mixed with the aroma of caffeine early in the morning.

I can’t stand change, I see no need for it. This is who I am, who I have always been. You have no right to change now, to want more. This is what we are, this is what we have made.

Let’s just stay here. Shut the world out and maybe if we pretend long enough, I will believe you want to stay and you will believe that there is fuck


Copyright HiraethPhoenix 2014


“We have coffee at his flat and with the aroma of caffeine, sea and cigarette smoke, I tell him my story, no embellishment, no minimizing, just how it was. He doesn’t flinch, doesn’t lose eye contact, just listens. And after I finish reciting an entire list of why he shouldn’t date me, including that I won’t fit in with his friends, I am emotionally broken and very, very complicated with many compulsive habits (I check my Ghd is off four times before leaving for work), he turns to me and says “do you hear the waves?” and suddenly, I do.”

Copyright HiraethPhoenix 2014

Wild horses and the heart

“I tried, I honestly tried to bring my heart back to us, to focus it.
And the more I tried, the harder it fought back.
I walked around a conflicted self, destabilised by opposing forces, each demanding to be heard.

You have no concept of being torn in two until your heart and mind are at odds.

The mind, logic it’s reason, “you do not leave that to which you are committed,” “marriage is a sacred contract” and the heart, love it’s song of choice, “follow love, follow the path it ignites”, backed up by numerous Paulo Coelho quotes (I always imagined this path illuminated by cellulite-ridden cupids, pointing where to go and Roxette’s “Listen to your heart” the soundtrack).

My only comfort at the time was sleeping and jogging and I did both with the same intensity. The endorphins made me feel something different to the raging storms inside and in sleep, I flew above all the noise, starting with my mind (stay there, stay there, please stay there) and always ending soaring with my heart.

Then there was the outside noise. Parents, friends, therapists, pastors, each advising what they thought best. Most days I just wanted to run away, from everyone, mostly myself.

You should know that in every battle of logic, you always won. And when the final bell rang and I chose the heart, know that for many, many years before that, this heart would have shed blood for you.”

Copyright HiraethPhoenix 2014

Full Circle

I saw it in your eyes,
Disappointment, hurt, betrayal and something new:
a scapegoat, someone to blame, a reason to declare off the rooftops.

She lost the plot, fell in love with someone else, left thinking that there was a future in that.
You couldn’t phone your parents, friends and any damn acquaintance fast enough. Speed dial. They had to know. Finally, it made sound sense. It wasn’t you, it wasn’t us, it was me.

Me and my stupidity, me and my lack of moral fibre, me and my forever searching for a love story, me not ever being satisfied, me and my unrealistic expectations of marriage.
Me and him.
This freaking cheeseball (“Who poses on Facebook all bulging biceps? Who I ask you? A cheeseball. You threw us away for a fucking cheeseball”) who claimed to love me and declared it lyrically in poems.
(And I, I was a robin soaring on wings of love)

And it made the truth easier, more deliverable, certainly more believable.

It also made it that much harder, when later we tried to reconcile.
Because every person you told looked down at me, judged me.
Look at what the cat dragged in…
(A mouse, a deceitful grey mouse)

All I needed was for you
to shield me,
to cover my weakness,
to hold my

Copyright HiraethPhoenix 2014