Semblance 9: Unconditional

I am crying, but the tears I shed are not my own.
My flesh cut open, but my blood is not bled.
The song I sing, its words I’ve never spoken
And yet the feeling evokes that of another’s anguish.

The weight I carry, is but baggage for two.
I apologize for mistakes that aren’t mine,
And all I can do is lend my eyes and ears.
I hope that is enough, I can only offer you time.

But to carry the burden of another can’t be sustained.
This I know, and I’m regretful that no more can be done.
Empathy, in its own capacity, is burdensome to its holder,
And the unconditional love will soon drive us apart.

I’ve always said it would never be too much.
I said in good faith that I would still remain.
Can one love too much? I fear the worst of it,
But too much love remains when all else fades.

I am different now, from sharing the pain between us.
I am strong. I face problems with the strength of two,
And although we are no longer dependent on each other,
I look forward to you seeing the woman that I’ve become.


I’ve been sitting on this poem for a while until I felt like it was time to close the books on the first series of poems. While it certainly isn’t my strongest work in the set, I thought it would be fitting that my subject would eventually grow and develop into a wonderful human being. A lot has happened, and I’ve learned so much, about myself and about my writing. I am certainly a lot happier and more fulfilled than before despite a lot of sadness and distress. But I can’t forget a lot of good has happened as well. And I hope to continue improving myself and learning. Thanks for sticking with me throughout. More on the way!

Shout out to all those who’ve helped me along the way

Kayla, Vi, Audra, Apro, Toom, Kaz, Brian, the rest of chat, and of course, my readers!

With love,
~Mari

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Semblance 8: Golden Perfection

Rather than try and mess with the way wordpress formats things, I decided to make this poem an image so that the form maintains its integrity across all viewing devices because the shape of the poem is part of the presentation. Due to the nature of the material, this poem is repetitive and at times the sentences aren’t in quite the right order. I basically took a written out paragraph and chopped it up by sentences and arranged them in order of length. The haiku at the center is meant to be read last, but the order doesn’t truly matter, it’s the visual!

With all that technical stuff out of the way, I wrote this poem for my friend who is facing immeasurable hardship. My heart goes out to her. She wished to remain anonymous. When she reads this, I want her to know that I love her with all my heart.  Stay strong. ❤

In Japan there is the mending practice of Kintsugi (literally Gold Joinery), in which broken pottery is repaired using lacquer usually mixed with gold powder. It emphasizes the cracks by making the imperfections stand out. The idea that the bad things in our lives should be forgotten is a flawed idea, and being able to face and embrace our flaws and imperfections will allow us to become stronger in the end. We are not just the cracks and the shattered fragments; we are the whole of those separated pieces, joined together by understanding, courage, strength, experience, and compassion.

~Mari

Semblance 7: I, Apart from You

I want to stand by You again,
But my legs have failed me.
Without hope, I cannot stand
The sight of myself. So lonely,
I want to feel like myself again.

My thoughts of You yield no answers,
To be separated from You, is worse still.
When that feeling of closeness wavers
Without it, I’ve neither hope, nor will.

I won’t be able to overcome my gravity
For my legs are aching with numbness
And my heart is heavy with emptiness,
The weight of its despair gives way.

I cannot hope to stand tall without You
Without your strength I’m unable to be.
To venture forth, I can no longer move.
I am hindered, trapped by my inability.

I want to hope again. I can’t imagine
Which is worse? To be truly alone?
Or to be forever waiting? I’ve known,
For You, I will be eternally patient.
It is You, I want to stand by again.


I’ve been trying to use fewer regular rhyme schemes in favor of something more irregular. The stanzas that slightly alter the rhyme scheme are meant to bring attention to specific lines. The clustered rhymes kind of naturally came out when I originally drafted the poem, so I stuck with the format rather than trying to make everything rhyme in the ABAB format for each stanza. Aside from all that technical stuff I wanted to play around with the significance of how far and close the ‘You’ and ‘I’ are from each other.

The short story is nearing completion, it is basically in the rewriting and editing stage. I am aiming for before the end of March. I am also considering arranging it with some folks to read it live, so if anything happens with that, I will announce it in the next post.

~Mari

Semblance 6: Villanelle Empathique

No matter how much they hurt you,
Can’t we show a shred of sympathy?
We don’t know what they’ve been through.

We all have bad days, what else is new?
Imprisoned, we can’t seem to break free.
No matter how much they try to hurt you.

What a difference it could make, if only we knew
Just how much torment we cause. Regrettably,
We don’t know what they’ve been through.

What they say to her, a kind person would eschew.
Yet, she dovishly croons her melancholic melody.
“No matter how much they try to hurt you…”

Poisonous words, dripping with malice and spite spew
Hate, it has a source. They’re not always our enemy.
We don’t know what they’ve been through.

Some acts of desperation, we often misconstrue.
Consideration will allow us to understand, eventually.
No matter how much they try to hurt you,
We don’t know what they’ve been through.



This is a more of a description about the problems our protagonist has to face. She is met with hateful words, but her only response is to try and understand why people are this way. Of course, this is an extreme example and not every problem can be solved in this manner, but maybe if people and their enemies tried to understand the other side, maybe some messes would be solved and less feelings hurt.

I am trying to hit 10 poems in this series, so a few new ones are in the pipeline for the coming weeks. In addition to that, I have some short stories that might pop in near the end of March. Look forward to that one because it’ll be nice and spooky! That’s my hope anyway.

~Mari

Semblance 5: Her Cloudy Eyes

A look into her eyes could calm the worst storm,
But often, those eyes are the most cloudy.
Reflections of her mother’s mood, the tears form
Droplets, they drip into puddles of sympathy.

These eyes, they can ease a spirit and warm
The coldest of hearts. She knows she must carry
The burden of two or more. Her family torn.
Her heart frayed in strands, yet she still worries.

A vacant stare, still full. Vibrant, but worn
Down by constant pressure and scorn. So lonely…
A semblance of serenity, her smile adorns
Her face, such melancholic jewelry.


Out of this set of poems, although it is quite brief, this one is a personal favorite. This particular poem illustrates a clearer picture of the subject of these poems. She has her own problems and hardships that she must face day to day, yet she still wears a happy face, like a piece of jewelry, whether it is truly for show or not. Sometimes, the most beautiful and striking pair of eyes can paint a vivid picture of their joys and hardships.

Working on some non-poem stuff in the meantime, so updates might slow down quite a bit as I work on longer projects. Next project is gonna be about “The Jacket” project that I’ve been preparing for.

~Mari

Semblance 4: Here in the Snow

This particular poem is dedicated to my good friend A_k_lemay, Happy birthday! ❤ ❤ ❤


Just a little longer. Please, I want to wait here in the snow.
My family can wait. I’m in no rush to be at home.
No house could be so warm, none that I know.

Fond memories of home feel like they were so long ago.
They comfort me out here so I don’t feel so alone.
Just a little longer. Please, I want to wait here in the snow.

My feet refuse to move along, they aren’t willing to follow,
as if to say, “No need to go back yet,” but still I won’t bemoan.
No house could be so warm, none that I know.

Each and every snowflake here is more hospitable, although,
it has been a long time since I’ve had such kindness shown
Just a little longer, Please, I want to wait here in the snow.

It makes no difference, I’d rather stay put here than go.
My home, I may live there, but it is difficult to call my own.
No house could be so warm, none that I know.

That house that I regard so distantly, its stove that was once set aglow,
Burns coldly, now its frigid walls are no more inviting than a tombstone.
“Just a little longer, please. I want to wait here in the snow,
No house could be so warm, none that I know.”


Continuing on with the series of serious poems, this one tries to illustrate how a cold snowy day brings comfort to the narrator as opposed to the warm house in which he/she resides.

I wanted to get this one out before winter comes to a close, but this poem has a bit of a special place in my heart so I wanted to make sure that its revision lived up to my expectations. Since I did two serious poems in a row, the next few will be a little lighter.

Thanks for reading!
~Mari

Semblance 3: Hold Nothing Back

What is in a Promise? A promise to hold Nothing back?
Speak honestly, my dear one. We’ll hold Nothing back.

Your pain is my pain. My tears are very much like yours,
Shed for another’s anguish. We’re holding Nothing back.

The rigors of everyday life separate us, yet we hold in
Our pain to face an apathetic world. Hold. Nothing back.

I write to you, but my words feel as though they float idly by
Like the sun’s rays reaching out, but they hold Nothing back.

Your words return and fulfill me but I can’t help but feel that
You see my words, but cannot hear them. I hold Nothing back.

I imagine your pulse, your vivacity that gives me such hope.
I sense your heartbeat, but via paper; it’s cold. Nothing back.

My hands reach out. Only in dreams, you are there with me.
But like in dreams, I grasp and I hold Nothing. Taken aback.

As the distance between us grows, and our time together fades,
My heart asks for when next we speak, but is told nothing back.

In my ambivalence, remembrance is how I remove any indecision.
To be with my beloved is my promise. Forever, hold Nothing back.


Here is the third main series poem written about the same subject. This one deals with a certain promise; One where you are required to always say what is on your mind. As with most agreements of this nature, this one is not without its difficulties. The relationship progresses from very hopeful to longing to illustrate that many relationships are prone to complacency, but that is not always a bad thing. Coming to terms with this feeling of separation must be key to a balanced relationship, or something, though this would apply most to someone you can’t see in person frequently.

I played around with the phrase “Hold Nothing back” and toyed with different iterations and their multiple meanings. “Hold Nothing back” here refers both to the promise to say what is on your mind, as well as physically having no evidence to speak of in regards to someone’s reciprocated efforts.

The mixture of old and new works keeps things interesting for me. You’d be surprised with how much you learn trying to rewrite anything old into something up to date with my current writing level. The serious series of poems continues for quite a while more so I hope to discover facets of my writing with each step.

~Mari