Poems about Self & Identity

There is always a place for them
because Mercy and Love allowed
them to have a place for them.
Because they are not a “them” for Them,
they are simply Us for Them.

“They are Us, from inside out”,
gods whisper in the morning.

They are Their dreams, Their desires,
little islands made of forgotten golds,
pure gods forgotten of themselves.
They find their places graciously,
supported by Grace, their friend.

“We are them, from outside in”,
the gods sings when they are asleep.

I lost my way,
That fateful day
An angry storm took hold.

I lost my way,
That fateful day
The grey clouds tossed and rolled.

I lost my way,
That fateful day
As gusty air turned cold.

I lost my way,
That fateful day
A cottage bleak and bold.

I found my way,
That fateful day
I crossed its safe threshold.

I found my way,
That fateful day
With ransacked contents sold.

I found my way,
That fateful day
Luck freed my tight blindfold.

I found my way,
That fateful day
For life to now unfold.

When the world is a hostile ocean
throwing me up like a rag doll,
tossing me brutely into a cavernous sack
Brittle, unfeeling
I light candles in my bones
celebrate the cathedral of self
that pushes through the tumult,
knows where it is going,
who I am.
I will not be defined by the storms
or drowned out by the choking tides.
Thunder will not strike me down,
nor my troubles name me.
I am my own refuge
and I shine.


My human condition can feel to me like hot coals of painful intensity
quenched by some momentary, cooling, restful waters
that ease the distress & create some freeing steam
& then we start over, on loop (if you can feel what I mean?)

I am the hissing, forming steam, the scream of the camping kettle
increasingly pressured, heated, hurting, jiggled fast
a little part of me happily escaping for just a while
testing my mettle but it doesn’t last!

I am the moving surface of expansion & possibility upon the scalding bath
The thrill of flying away bit-by-bit until I hit
another surface & condense & drip back down into my heaviness, no less
with a slowly growing desire & willingness to try & fly again, be more truly free
probably in vain but we will see

The mixture of pain & balm, the sticky, sweaty palm
The cooling, soothing ice on the banged bump, the engorged lump
healing, freeing until the flames return
Burning with a yearning to begin yet again & play a different game
A desire to quell any burns from the fire & to be the alive flame of life
powerful but not harmful to myself nor full of strife

Oh to be grounded deep like the roots of the oak!
& from here to sun-shimmer & free-flutter expansively up high at the top of the tree
Like the thousand wind-dancing oak leaves & also to be
like the birds who alight on the branches wide & who dive off
into the seemingly endless space of air held in the arms of day or night
where they dare to let go & free flow & fly right up & through the sky, oh my!

How I wish to trade the painfully hot coals, the occasional, soothing splash of water
& trickle of excited, escaping, ephemeral steam for the image of my dream:
the free-flying-bird-refuge oak tree, swaying with the breeze
deeply safe-rooted & spreading out, with a core of steady aliveness glowing majestically.

Speak of.
Speak of words.
Speak of words that will allow.
Speak of words that will allow you to say how you feel.
Speak of words that will allow you to say how you feel in a world that does not understand.
Speak of words that will allow you to say how you feel in a world that does not understand your native tongue.
Meaning of a specified place.
Not uncivilised.
Not uneducated.
Move from one tongue to another with the fluidity of inspiration and broken barriers.
Exhale terror, inhale calm.
Speak of.
Speak of horrors.
Speak of horrors to be shared.
Speak of horrors to be shared, unburdened, diluted.
Speak of horrors to be shared, unburdened, diluted in a world that does not understand.
Speak of horrors to be shared, unburdened, diluted in a world that does not understand, but wants to.
With sound, with silence.
For we are listening.

With a help of a mental thermal imager
I am looking for the remnants of something alive on the floors of my soul:
Maybe there is something there, stupid enough to have entered the kitchen,
Maybe something has lurked in the hallway, behind the two walls,
Maybe something has felt danger and dashes down the steps,
And something is, maybe, already sneaking around the heat hub in the basement,
It thinks I won’t get it here,
So here I go grilling it up!

I am looking for it, but there’s nothing here.

I wanted to consult with the sky,
Do you remember, there was such a symbol of space and lightness?
When you have nothing to say, no one to ask, just refer to the skies.
Now the chat with the sky is completely different.
Everyday it brings something New.
The Earth, on the contrary, has become a symbol of calmness,
If you go deep enough,
If you entrench,
And willy-nilly hug it.

Have found some phrases in the glove box of my memories.
Staying and wondering, should I take them with me or should I abandon them together with this hunk of junk and thermal imager which is good for nothing.

«the sky became the earth»
«the new sky» [1] «there is no me» [2]

15.03.2022 Lviv

[1] Adam Hlobus poem «The new sky»[2] Valiancin Akudovič concept and book of essays «There is no me»

translated by Ales Plotka and Corinne Leech

I’m ripple,
in a swamp of water,
lifted by brother.

I’m girl watching home
wash away again, again.

I’m nameless in a nameless flood,
my only love, our goat,

I’m known by Grandmother’s bracelets,
now treasure of this tummel.

I’m homeless in the smoke-grey
of a greedy monsoon.

Today should be Mother’s Day
– it’s my birthday, but
the day belongs to my mother.

I sit in a darkened room
lit by fading fairy lights and a soft
touch-lamp-speaker that gently
lullabies an acoustic tune,
quietly reverberating through the
cool mid-autumn air of this small room.
A piece of quiet, sage solitude,
my face a reflection: brimful of
anticipation from past plays,
devising memories for the future.

I had dreamed of eggs: juggling,
they cracked in the air
moulded by the spinning of time
into an eggshell bowl, glazed with smiles.

I do not have the recollection
this day 35 years ago,
born into the darkness of dawn.
35 years today, here I am,
ruminating how destiny’s map
of choice and decision
converged onto this page of here
and now, pen in hand. For a moment,

like an actor, I slip into her shoes
her age, my age
her moment, my moment
and retrace my mother’s footsteps
envisioning tears of pride
and pain
                and hope
                               and relief
                                                and love.

I awaken from my mother’s dreams.
Tears travel down my cheek,
a river through the topographic
contour lines of my DNA,
seeing both past and future
in my eyes, in her eyes
and we see the world.

I am Refugee
You say
But not what I say
I am seeking refuge
Wherever it may be
A safe place
A roof over my head
A place to rest my weary bones
I’m human first
Regardless of what you think
Yes it stinks
All the hoops I have to jump through
To prove myself
But for what and why
Just hear my words
My plea
As I am Human first

My breath is deep and wide.
It fills my lungs, my whole
chest, my belly, opening……

As this breath releases, I start to tone,
a soft, low sound of AH. This blends
with the call of the wind,
as it murmurs in the trees……

I stand grounded like a tree, with the green field
before me, and the song rising in my heart.

I move slowly between different low notes,
breathing and relaxing.

I am singing.
The notes rise, my voice gets
louder, stronger.

I am finding myself in this song as it rises, music
beating through my being like the river’s current
moving down the Gorge and the waves
beating on the rocks

The wave grows,
my song
spills out and over me.

My voice, here, now,
a resting place for me, a sweet
refuge from the everyday.

I am free here,
sung through by the force of life
becoming myself


Boat people
Asylum seeker
Foreign national

In shades of brown,
Your beauty does reside,
A symphony of hues,
Like natures gentle stride.
Your eyes ,
Like rich mahogany,
Deeply wise,
hold secrets of the world,
beneath their skies.
Your skin,
A warm embrace of cocas grace,
Invites the touch,
A tender, sweet embrace.
Auburn dresses, flowing like a river flow,
In brown’s soft cradle,
A radiant timeless glow

In the storms I find my strength.
That is my refuge, my haven, my defence.
I remember who I am, and also what I have been;
Sinner, Saint, Survivor,
Warrior, King and Queen