nearly two years

there are silent storms,

vast and engulfing, but

please, pretend you don’t

see them. thunder rumbles,

silent as sin and lightning

cracks just as invisibly as

you wish it could, how can

you shut your eyes to the

veritable collapse of these

castles; walls crumble and

the grounds shake but you

stand still, still, remarkably

still, how can I fall when you

are yet to even notice the

rotation of this earth, how can

I move the mountains for you?

How can I be so desperately

concerned while you are so

desperately indifferent, have you

forgotten that this is the end,

have you forgotten that we will

never again be this way, this is

an extinction, the end of the

planet and an era, how can you

fathom the depths of this ocean

when I can’t even sail it on a boat.

This could be the end of forever,

let me know if you

want to change that, I need

you to want to change that, because

I have never tired of you. I have

spent years by your side and have

never learnt to put up a guard, I

would never wish sadness upon

you my dear but please let me

know, let me know that this is

hard for you too, so I can sleep

tonight and every night that we

spend apart, do not leave me to

fight this alone.

I will never

begrudge you, these last six months

where we both knew we were

slow dancing in a burning room,

waiting for the walls to collapse,

there is no moment of this love that

I would regret, I mean how could

I resent a love that was like breathing,

that was like two years of the moment

where you get into bed after a long,

long day, and there is no atom that

could ever want to be

anywhere else.

Perhaps the most disturbing part

of it all, is how suddenly memory

foam turns to concrete, and how

desperately you want those silk

sheets to stop feeling like you’re

lying in tin foil, were you deluding

yourself? No, not at all,

it is remarkable what the human

mind can do when it wants

something to work so badly,

when the overwhelming fear of

failure that you never knew you

had kicks in and all of a sudden

two years have passed.

It is almost shocking, looking

at pictures of you with your head

that some other girl shaved, to think

that I really knew I would marry you

one day, to have laid the stones on

the path to forever, to have almost

set my dreams aside to make space

for yours, to have given up Paris,

New York, New Orleans, for the

little town that existed only in your

mind and your childhood, too small

for a girl who stands 5’10” in stature

and infinite in possibilities.

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03:02

For a love of mine

When you remind me

to write, do not forget that

you are reminding

me to be myself.

To take my morning breath,

to make tea before

I fall asleep, to

face this world of hate, never

allowing the light

of blind optimism

be smothered by the smoke of

modernism, of “our times”,

because times are

changing and you need not

say it in words —

I doubt you could

string the sentence together,

stumbling over pride

— but I know that you

want the world that I see to be the

vision of tomorrow

for every one of us,

a utopia formed on charisma

and genuine goodwill

and for you, oh for you,

I will.

Where your heart is

Face in neck, lips to shoulder,
I comprehend through nothing
but sound and the movements
of my favourite arms, felt through
fingertips hypersensitive to the
electric pulses in the muscles
below, fear is diffused into the
tendons and you seem able to
endlessly absorb, to understand
and to explain, I know my own
emotions better when they are
experienced through you.

Home is where the heart is, home
is almost always forty kilometres
away, I form constellations from the
stars on your cheeks so that I can
remember them better in the days
we spend apart and I wish that I
could gaze out at this new universe
forever but summer is here and the
nights are short — I so hope that
winter is coming.

I wanted a word to describe the
sensation of stumbling into someone
who was a fragment of a past that I
so loved but the only one that came
to me was “funny” and neither of
us was satisfied with such mediocrity
so you left me to think and the
word that came to me was serendipity.

an unexpected, yet fortunate, occurrence
and let me tell you my love that you were
unexpected, yet fortunate, face-first into
arms twice as big as I remember and a
chest much higher off the ground than I
could recall, but banter just as awkward
and eyes just as quietly expressive as the
last time I had seen them, fast-forward a
year and I know you better than your mother,
I laugh as we reminisce because the whole
thing is awfully funny. You knew me when
I was weird looking and you still thought I
was cute, I suppose the same logic applies
to puppies when their feet are too big for
their bodies, but I grew into the hands that
you hold, fingers still just as long but
I hardly notice when they’re entwined
with yours, you make this body beautiful
just with your touch.

I know that no matter what, in a year
from now you’ll be exactly the radius of
the earth away from me, but I rest with the
knowledge that you walked into my life once,

twice,

I have faith in the third, and it’s third time
lucky.

That bitch

Before you tell me

that my body is something I have to cover,

on the behalf of boys that

I will never speak to,

 

Let me tell you to FUCK OFF

because maybe I was born exactly like this

and my body is something I have

spent seventeen years coming to terms

with, and let me tell you right now that I

don’t have that kind of time to show you

how I did it, that each cell in this body once

reverberated with utter self-loathing

and some days it still does, sometimes

I am no more than a fucking tuning fork

because I shake so hard to the tune of

“I hate my body” and “my boobs don’t fit

this” and “I can’t buy skirts long enough”

because in a country of petite, I am long

legs, big boobs and hair that can’t be

tamed, I don’t need you to remind me.

 

I don’t need your dismissal, I don’t need

to hear how the needs of perverts and the

means that you use to control them come

above the fact that I needed to move today,

no one tells the ocean tide to stop when it’s

waves distract the shore, do not put my body

in the confines of “sexual” or “on display”,

I’ll have you know that I’m wearing clothes.

 

I wear clothes that empower, smooth legs and

skirts that fall above my knees remind me that

I am a woman and that I am powerful, that

no matter how many boys, men and teachers

say to me, “honey this is physics, are you lost?”,

that I have passed every test, that I study twice

as hard, not because I have to but because I can,

I took my maths two years early do not look

down at me under the façade of dismissal, I know

you just want to see down my top. But you know

what, I got my breasts from my mother and she

is the most powerful woman I know, I see you

trying to hide yours under baggy shirts and high-

necked 80’s wear, no one takes you any more

seriously just because you hate yourself as much

as they hate you, wear what you like, this is all

that will ever belong to you in this world where

women do almost seventy percent of the work and

own less than one percent of the land, do not think

you are superior because your tits are smaller than

mine.

 

Do not tell me what to wear when others tell me what

to think, others tell me what to feel, others tell me what

I will learn and where I will go, who I will be, and

God fucking knows that I do not need you to tell me

what will protect the only thing that will ever be mine.

Happiness

If happiness is what you seek from me,

find me on my best friend’s bed as we

watch (another) grim episode of a French

drama. Or as we sneak to the kitchen

for the biggest bowl of dry granola that

anyone  has ever seen, complain,

and return to the blindingly bright fridge

for water and stumble back to the dimly-lit

cave of introspective French musings laced

with the hysterical laughter of teenage girls,

a cocktail of two parts serious, one part what

are we doing and shaken til dizzy, find me in

those moments and behind my eyes there

will be joyous flames that convince you that

even forest fires burn far too half heartedly.

 

 

Everest

I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve written a personal update here, how time flies. The reason I’ve been gone for so long is that I only recently returned from the most phenomenal trip in Nepal, trekking to Everest Base Camp and with all the catch up I’ve had to do with both school, friends and family I simply haven’t had even the tiniest moment to catch up here, but now I can consider myself fully back in the loop.

So for just over half a month, 30-odd not-always-so-happy hikers struggled through the harsh Nepali landscapes, battling altitude sickness, homesickness, tears and arguments right the way to the 5,364 metre high Everest Base Camp, searing memories into the backs of eyelids and scrawling names on to rocks. No words can fully comprehend the beauty that we experienced in such abundance, even photos taken on the best cameras seemed cheap as you checked the scrawny digital screen and compared it to the glory that sat in front of you. Quadriceps burned as flat ground turned to hills and hills turned quite literally into Mount Everest, with the amount of times we said “I want to go home” being so desperately infinite that it was surprising to all that any of us had a good time.

Maybe some photos will better convey the trip, as recalling it brings back too many floods of quasi-traumatic memories, so here you go.

NMP_6242 NMP_5913-1 NMP_6383 NMP_6367 NMP_6603 NMP_6696 NMP_6700 NMP_6728-1 NMP_6757NMP_7213-1NMP_6883NMP_6914NMP_6992-1NMP_7027NMP_7052NMP_7081

NMP_7072-1NMP_7075NMP_7140NMP_7155NMP_7210NMP_7248NMP_7297NMP_7328NMP_7340NMP_7032

NMP_7119

NMP_7241-1NMP_7081

In no particular order, I present my Everest trip in its most stunning visuospatial form. I want to give thanks to my phenomenal family, I am the first Gray descendant to do many things but my grandmother told me that if she had ever known that a grandchild of hers would make it up to the base camp of the tallest mountain in the world, she would never have believed it and to be honest if someone had told me a year ago that I would be the first to summit both Kalapatthar and Everest Base Camp, I would have laughed. It shows how much you can achieve, it still takes my breath away looking at these images and knowing that my seventeen year old self was there, had these experiences, is just absolutely fantastic.

That is all from me for now, so as always, love and light to you all,

Samantha.

ps. Only just noticing the amount of photos that have my best friend in them, I just wanted to mention him here because I could not and would not have made it without him nor would I be a fraction of the person that I am without his unconditional friendship. We did it!

You move me

You move me. Like waves across an ocean,
You can kiss gently at my ankles or destroy all I see in an instant,
You move me. Like earthquakes that pass unnoticed or a monsoon
That kills millions, my darling, you move me. As if the movements of
The clocks are dependent on your inhale and the tides change
When you breathe out, my love, you move the satellites that orbit my
Conscious and my star is you, I never had to fall because I had always
Resided in your gravity, you move me.