Poetry

body of water at daytime

THESE HARD DAYS WON’T LAST

These hard, tiring and busy days won’t last.

Some day you will look back and know that all the hard work and time spent was worth it.

You won’t always feel tired.

You won’t always have questions because you’ll understand that the answers don’t really matter.

The time you thought you lost will be caught up in memories and nostalgic laughter.

You will look back and know that you were never alone; not in your darkest valley or even atop your highest and brightest peaks.

Your sighs will turn into songs, your sorrows into shouts of joy.

Your frustrations will turn into feelings of freedom and your exhaustion will disappear behind the excitement.

It will all be worth it.

You might not see it now but you will.

The tides are turning and the winds are changing.

a person sitting on wooden planks across the lake scenery

DO NOT PITY ME

Do not pity me
For my God moves mountains
And parts the oceans.

Do not feel sorry for me,
For my Father in heaven created the
Stars, the moon, and the sun.

Do not have sorrow in your eyes
When you look at me,
for my King is the God of light and His light shines through me.

Do not think I have misfortune or bad luck
For my God is a God of miracles and power.

Do not believe the fear you think I feel because
My Saviour is not a God of fear but one who gave me a spirit
Of power, love, and self-control.

He commands the lightning and drives the thunder.
He pours out the rain on dry pastures and fills my cup
Until it overflows.

I do not fear man for the name of Jesus
Is on my lips.

My God is with me in the valley
And leads me to the mountain.

I do not fear.
I do not tremble.
I do not question or second guess
The path laid out before me.

For He guides me and
Leads me by the hand.
Clearing the debris.

He redeems me,
Cleanses me,
Saves me and never forsakes me.
He loves me.

My God.
My Jesus.
My saviour and healer.
My provider, my comfort.
My peace.

I do not fear.
For the power of Jesus is within me.

hope, dandelion

MY HOPE FOR YOU

I hope you fall in love with yourself. I hope you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I hope you learn to appreciate all your flaws and find the beauty in every scar, wrinkle, and folded skin.

I hope you learn to love your voice. I hope that you use it to change your world.

I hope you learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and, I hope you let go of the burden of guilt.

I hope you find love in all the different relationships in your life. 

I hope you chase your dreams and get the chance to watch them come to life.

I hope you share your stories and adventures and inspire others to do the same.

I hope you learn to be gentle with yourself and remember that bad decisions do not define you.

I hope you find the strength to fight through the bad times and come out the other side a stronger person.

I hope you remember to pray.

I hope you remember how beautiful you are.

I hope you laugh more.

I hope you play more.

I hope you find more.

I hope you always look for stars in the darkest of nights 

and know that the sun will always rise in the morning.

I hope you start believing in love again.  

Just believe it again.

I hope you can look back on the last season in your life and find the good

And I hope that you will always be grateful that you have made it this far.

I hope you know that your story is far from over and that the next blank page is waiting for you to create the life that you want.

I hope you know that you have the power to change your life and I hope you remember to never give that power away.

I hope you know that you can push boundaries and break barriers.

I hope that you know that you are never alone.

I hope that you witness great things and climb majestic mountains.

I hope that you find the courage to reach deep within yourself and do what makes you happy.

I hope you walk away from anything that no longer serves you and, I hope you walk away with your head held high.

I hope that you smile again and laugh with all the joy in your spirit. 

I hope it’s so loud that the rest of the world can’t help but laugh with you.

.

girls, women, happy

I hope you remember that saying goodbye is not always a bad thing.
I hope you know that the pain doesn’t last.
I hope you know that love is plentiful.
I hope you dance in the rain and roll in the mud.
I hope you plant seeds instead of picking flowers.
I hope you remember that having a bit of fun is good for you.
I hope you hold warm hands and kiss soft lips.
I hope you get the chance to look into loving eyes and fall asleep in a warm embrace.
I hope you take care of yourself.

I hope you know that your story is worth telling.

Papertrailza literary journal

PAPER TRAIL LITERARY JOURNAL – REVIEW

LAUNCHED 31st OCTOBER 2021

It was fun to be a part of this project. I recall, when the Whatsapp group opened, and all the discussions started flowing, I thought what a wonderful group of people who would come together and contribute to the idea of one person. I believe that is the foundation of Paper Trail.

An amazing group of writers is brought together with a variety of thoughts and ideas and it’s all mixed together in a melting pot of creativity.

I spent some time reading through the journal and it was really hard for me to choose which pieces were my favourite. When you read through it, it really highlights the importance of young people and the pivotal role that they play in society. It gives them a voice.

Where there are challenges there is bounteous space for the cultural economy to flourish. All that is required is clarity of vision and openness”

On the Twitter page of Paper Trail, the pinned tweet reads as follows:

“Our mission is to inspire young people through modern storytelling, and our vision is to create a digital journal that includes collaborators of all age groups to share poetry, short stories, articles and write-ups on young leaders and small businesses that improve our community.”

A TRAIL OF FAVOURITES

Like I mentioned before, there are so many facets and a variety of topics in this journal, that it makes it pleasantly difficult to choose which ones were my favourite. There are however some pieces that I would like to highlight.

Back In The Day” by Shiara Sharanund. A learner at Westville Girls High school wrote a beautiful article that makes you reflect on the days past and how they made you feel. It sums up the idea of nostalgia stunningly. Below is a piece from her article.

An extract from Papertrail Literary Journal.

There is also a sweet little piece from a Grade 4 learner at R.A Engar Primary school. This piece made me feel a bit sad but also put a smile on my face. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have forgotten that the little ones have also gone through some major changes but they have adapted so well.

The following quote is from a piece written by Shika Budhoo from her column titled “Align and Shine”

“Be the producer / radio DJ of your own mind and make sure the thoughts you think stay focused on your blessings and goals.”

Shika’s column gives you easy and practical tips on how to change the frequency of your thoughts from negative to positive and I think we can all do with a bit more positivity.

An extract from the column, “Align and Shine”

Another important piece that I would like to highlight is “How To Take Care Of You and Your Mental Health” by Robin Cleote. This piece speaks to all of us and after everything we’ve been through, it’s definitely worth the read.

KOFFEE FOR THE SOUL

I also contributed to the journal and I truly feel honoured that I could do that. I shared a space with amazing writers and if you haven’t heard of them before, you surely will now. Paper Trail brings communities together from across the world through the power of words. It reminds me of my review on Letting In The Light. Another body of work that simply reminds you about the beauty of words and shared experiences.

When I thought about the column that I wanted to contribute to Paper Trail, I wanted to write something honest and something that anyone could relate to. I didn’t want to give advice, I simply wanted to reflect and that’s the brief I proposed to the founder and editor, Ekta Somera.

The name “Koffee For The Soul” was inspired by how when we drink a warm beverage, its comforting and relaxes us and that is the experience I wanted to give the reader.

My first column in Paper Trail

There is a little bit of wisdom in every piece that has been added to this journal. I am amazed at the array of writers and their contributions.

Paper Trail brings together a range of articles for every kind of reader. From recipes, poetry, history, fashion, and makeup to anime and so much more. There is truly something for everyone.

It is not just an enjoyable read but is also a learning experience.

Well done to everyone involved and to Ekta Somera for the idea of starting this journal.

A SOCIAL MEDIA TRAIL:

Twitter: PapertrailZA

Instagram: Papertrailza

Literary Journal: PapertrailZA Journal

If you would like to get involved in future issues of the journal, please do contact the editor Ekta Somera by email on ekta.somera@gmail.com

******

pray, church, kneeling

TO LOSE A CHILD

Today a mother buried a child.
Sitting in the rows behind her
In the church,
I watch her;
Straight back.
Head covered.
Blank face.
Dignified sadness that she carries.

As person after person
Speak words of comfort,
I wonder if it reaches her
Or
If the umbrella of grief is so
Overwhelmingly broad,
That nothing can penetrate it.

Today a mother said goodbye
To her child;
An unnatural and unreal occurrence.
The small precious box on display
Holding everything that she holds dear.
And as I sit behind her,
Head bowed,
Hair undone
And tear-stained face
I cry the tears that this mother
No longer can.

a book, rose, heart

AM I NEXT?

Your smile and your smirk are the same to me.

I can’t see the difference between your sharp navy suit and your blue working overalls.

Your soft touch is just as violent as your fist to my jaw.

Every day I wake up and I ask myself #AmInext?

Black, White, Coloured;

Your sense of entitlement and abuse know no race, creed or colour.

The weight of death tip the scale when it comes to the worth of my life.

I’m no longer sad.

I am pissed!

I’ve had enough!

We have had enough.

It’s enough!

I’m tired of being afraid of making eye contact with men, thinking that if I don’t look at them, they won’t see me.

I’m tired of being afraid while standing in a public place,

Not knowing who is about to haunt me, stalk me or hurt me.

I’m tired of sitting on the bus or waiting for a taxi and wondering; did this man just come back from raping a woman?

Did this man just murder my sister?

Am I next?

Bank teller.

Post office clerk.

Businessman.

Father.

Uncle.

Son.

Rapist.

Murderer.

Criminal.

I no longer know the difference.

I’m tired of being distrustful of all men because of the faults of a few.

I’m tired of feeling like it’s my fault.

It’s not chivalry that’s dead.

It’s me.

I am dead.

Every year gender-based violence and femicide has a different face,

I can’t help but wonder, am I next?

Letting in the light, mental wellness anthology

LETTING IN THE LIGHT – REVIEW

I have to admit, it took me a while to really sit down and read this book. I think mostly because of the subject of the book; mental wellness or if you like mental health. It shouldn’t be surprising that so many of us suffer with some form of mental terror; depression, anxiety and sometimes we deal with feelings, thoughts and situations that can’t be described. When I started reading Letting In The Light; I felt a sense of coming home, a feeling of being welcomed into someone’s heart with open arms.

The foreword by Pick Me Up Poetry founder, Webster Chagonda encompasses this feeling so well;

“Remember, darkness will always make way for the day, and wherever
your mind may lead you, I hope these poems become your place of
refuge.”

It’s difficult for me to tell which one of the poems are my favourite; there are pieces of each poem that speak directly to me.

They are all relatable and also somewhat confrontational but quite necessary,

“A fleeting moment of peace

as you cease to wonder when the next red drought will dry out this puddle

And if you won’t have drowned in the depth of your head until then”

girl, sitting, jetty

When I read through the poems, I realised that so many people understand the feelings and circumstances around one topic. I felt safe reading it and saying to myself, “It’s okay to feel this way”

It truly is a stunning body of work with a beautiful use of words, descriptive methods and metaphors. It is almost as if what you’re reading is being carved on your skin. That is how deep the words go.

“Everywhere you walk, you will be a constellation of footsteps”

The anthology sheds light on all the parts of your life that is affected by depression; your mind, body, soul, family, friends and your career an daily life.

“I am ready to recite myself into existence. I am ready to tell anxiety a prophecy even though I sometimes don’t believe”

I want to encourage you to get this book. The words will speak to us all differently and once you get into it, you’ll realise its not just a book you can read once off. You can always go back and remind yourself that you are not alone in your darkness when you feel overwhelmed.

I was bound by the plight of life and could not get away. I was blinded by the pain of this fight and could not see my way but I heard Hope’s gentle whistle and Joy’s hearty squeal, gently fanning the embers of my heart”

tree, nature, wood

Well done to all the poets who contributed their words, feelings and experiences to this book. Thank you for being brave and baring it all on the pages.

Congratulations to the publishers, Chasing Dreams Publishing and everyone who worked to put this amazing body of work together.

I give this book a 10/10!

violence against women, domestic, abuse

FOR THE WOMEN WHO CRIED

IT IS TIME


Tears cocoon fear
in the eyes of our girls
who were raised to conform
to the double standards set
who stalk the streets we walk
while chanting prayers
to reach home safely
It is time to undress
the targets from our bodies
we are not wounds
begging for attention
we are women
who demand the luxury
that safety has become
seeking justice for our sisters
who turned into statistics
The revolution we require
will not arise from complacency
it is time to raise our voices
and end the silence
it is time to stop
gender-based violence

clock, alarm, alarm clock

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH


The warrior bleeds
in every woman who fought
and cried and died beneath an armour
of battle scars after begging
for the basic human rights
she was denied
Carrying strength like a weapon
she faced oppression
injustice and men
without a moral compass
until her sword became the honour
they could not steal
Why are we quiet
when our warriors are bleeding
enough is enough
there must be a peak
in our silence
SCREAM
SCREAM
I stand together with
the women who fought
and the women who cried
the women who begged
and the women who died

eye, tear, cry

ABOUT THE POET – EKTA SOMERA

Ekta Somera is the author of Made in Poetry, a collection of poetry and prose. She is a part-time criminology major and a full-time visionary leader. From writing and reviewing books to hosting a radio show and making a difference, she fulfils her passion to inspire young people through various youth initiatives and community service.

Ekta lives by the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
Hardcopies of Made in Poetry are available in South Africa, WhatsApp 067 909 1057 to order a copy at R280 with delivery.

Ekta with her book, “Made In Poetry”


The ebook is available on Kindle and Amazon worldwide at the cost of $4.99 

You can find Ekta here:

TWITTER: @madeinpoetry

INSTAGRAM: @ektasomera

Ekta’s poetry anthology

I AM HER

I stare at her in the dirty mirror on the wall

She stares back at me, all the cracks showing

Unwilling to smile

Asking me questions with her eyes.

She looks tired

She feels exhausted

Her body is in pain

Her back hurts.

Her eyebrows are untamed

I should do something about that,

I think.

What about the hair, it’s so dry and unmanageable

We should cut it,

I say

“No”
 I hear a whisper

The breeze floats through the open window

Strands of hair dances as it does

The sun frames me with a golden light

Almost angelic if I didn’t know better

Mmm, that felt nice, we both think.

I’m not that pretty,

I sigh

A bit on the bland side

You’re beautiful

I look away from the mirror

And inhale.

She exhales

We’re staring at one another

Through purpled framed specs

I’m tired” I think

I know” she whispers back

I arch my back in cat-like stretch

Feeling the muscles in the lower back

Tensing as I do.

She inhales

I exhale

I lift a cup of tea to my lips

Not too sweet

A bit cold

I lick my lips to taste

What are we going to do?”

I ask

We carry on

She replies

I move my hair from right to left

Feeling the texture

Dry, yes

But still beautiful.

A smile touches my lips

I look in the mirror hanging on the wall

You’re strong

She says

I hesitate

The eyes that stare back at me

Look hopeless

Deep set and underlined with shadows

As if years of sleep have been lost

And years of tears have been shed

You’re strong

She says again

Say it

I inhale

I exhale

I fix my hair

And straighten my clothes

I am strong

I whisper

This body is merely a vessel

Your spirit is flourishing

She becomes louder

I can feel her banging on the walls on the inside of my head

And my heart.

I inhale

I exhale

For every one thing that I find is wrong with me

There are ten more things that are right with me
.”

I hear myself say.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale.

Exhale.

I am strong.

I am beautiful.

I am capable.

I am

Her.

baby feet, heart, love

OH BABY!

Little one,
From the womb whence you came,
Only to be discarded on the side of the road.
Oh, baby!
Wrapped in plastic,
Near the stench of a filthy rubbish bin.
Accompanied not by warm hands and inviting smiles,
Instead, you’re surrounded by
Rotten food and hungry wolves.


Oh, baby!
Your cries drown out the screams
As she forces you out,
Two months premature.
She doesn’t want to remember
the day that you were created
in a night of heated passion.
Your sweet face and soft skin
Make her skin crawl.


Oh, baby!
She blames you for the loss of his love
And punishes you,
Gets rid of you,
Like yesterday’s trash.
A one night stand,
Mistaken for a love of a lifetime,
Resulting in 9 months of responsibility.
A lifetime responsibility.


Oh, baby!
Your little body; hands and feet,
Blue in the cold night,
Unaware of the love that awaits you
From a barren mother who craves you
Who wishes for you,
Prays for you.
Your sweet scent,
Your ten fingers and
Ten toes.
Oh, sweetheart
Covered in blood,
The only tie to your previous life,
Is the cord that binds itself around your tiny
Neck.


Oh, baby!
Please hold on!
Someone is coming.
Oh, baby!
You are wanted
and needed.
You are a source of joy and laughter.
Your precious life is a gift from the heavens.
Oh, baby!
Please hold on!
That yellowed grass patch might be your beginning
But
It is certainly not your end.