transcendental panacea 

I find it in bare-feet 
through freshly cut grass,
my toes mush into the green hairs of the earth
as I outstretch my hand to the bookshelves nestled in grassy mountains
with books stooped high,

I surrender into Francis Hodgson-Burnett’s circle of safety,
amongst Sarah’s imagination-filled attic,

I draw out the Neverending Story on the days I can’t handle my mind,
and I try to pull Artax out of the Swamp of Sadness,
in the hope that I’ll inadvertently rescue myself,

I join Momo,
chasing through grey streets and tall grey men that stand like walls
in my head,
peering down at me with furrowed brows,
rapture engulfs me,
time eludes me,

I swing amongst the treetops and branches with Tarzan,
leafing through the storybooks that refract my confusions
and diffuse my illusory fears and obstacles
into multi-coloured particles
that transmogrify into awaiting adventures,

I rummage through the stacks upon stacks upon stacks,
I draw out Harwood, Auden, Rosetti, T.S. Eliot and Yeats,
therein lies my feast,
my comfort,
my sanctuary,
whereupon I first learned how to read my heart beats,
where I first discovered I could trace every wrinkle on every face
through the magic of broken syllab-
and trailing stanzas,
personified feelings and desires,
allegorical transformations of civilian observations and experiences,
and pluck out each metaphor in fine detail,
where texture and colour are constructed through dancing words on a plain-printed page,
exploring every deeply hidden wonder I’ve ever considered,

where I learned how to set a garden on fire
without singeing a single flower,
as to leave a trail of ashes like stardust
without the negligence of disintegration,

for I have gained, oh I have gained
a juicy, often forsaken, fruit that spills the nectar
that feeds my soul and reminds me that I can be, just me,
and that that is more than just fine,
it is wonderful and miraculous,

I find the familiar in dissecting the yet-to-be-known and the unknowable,
flourishing along the yellow brick road
Dorothy couldn’t seem to uncover,

I forage through the bushes,
peek at the flowerbeds,
and sip the water that trickles
between jagged rocks,
discovering and rediscovering,
refining and redefining
my own personal Wizard of Oz,

I find sanctuaries between stanzas,
where my mind starts to wander,

I leap and laugh behind Prufrock,
I’m learning there’s so much to grasp onto within ourselves before we can reach for the external,
so perhaps there is a silver lining
to be the crab on the floor of the deep blue,
at least temporarily,
that doesn’t cling onto any barnacle or weed,
free of external weight and responsibilities,
only to find our humanity, nestled in humility,
to find one’s true voice first,

my soul becomes your soul
and his soul and her soul
and we all become one,
through words that paint giant birds with rainbow beaks
and glitter between their feathers
and draw outstretched wings that span across deserts and oceans,

“where dreams drip to stone” in Harwood’s garden,
as Auden wonders about The Quest,
to go beyond one’s social conditioning
rendered through a scattered upbringing,

this realm of the imaginary is of the real, it is what saves us
from ourselves
and stops us from throwing questions and lies
at the ceiling fan
testing whether the shards of our souls will lodge into another
so that we won’t have to suffer alone,

so here I sit upon an unmade bed, cradling the rare hot dinner,
in a crinkled blouse,
treading sand-scattered floorboards,
peering at the smudges of make up and specks of hairspray across the mirror,
mold encrusting the dripping tap,
dirt on the soles of my shoes, chipped nose of my skateboard, broken shoelaces tied together in a series of unruly knots,
rips in my t-shirts,
split ends in my hair,

here, I dread that if everything were in order and everything were “in place”,
I’d find an imperfect way that there was something wrong with this space.

I find home every time I release the material-present
and transcend into the breadth
of my kaleidoscope eyes and the jungle in my mind,
infused with folklore and Grimm fairy tales,

I am my own Frankenstein creation,
I can feel the floorboards throbbing, containing all the heart beats I have intercepted and those that I no longer dwell in,
I am of the crowd, not in it,
I am the modern flaneur,
I am the librarian of my soul,
and the gardener of my heart,
I am the force of my own fury,
nothing more, nothing less.

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