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.
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.
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 ofPaper 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 tearsthat this mother No longer can.
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 readingLetting 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 Poetryfounder, 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”
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”
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.
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
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
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.
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.