Play It Again

blur close up closeup flowers
Photo by Pixabay on

The nice thing about poems is that there’s no wrong or right way to write one You just do. Meanwhile, I wrote this poem almost as though a sensation called “automatic writing” came over me.

What’s this one about? Hmmm. How do I tell you this…it’s pretty speculative. Wishful, I daresay. And the piano can be a metaphor, I realized…


I saw you in the piano room today

I saw,

I saw,

How your concerto was only child’s play

The keys mourned the end of a summer breeze

Such longing! I thought the night-stilled air would freeze

Meanwhile you were lost in a soliloquy

I just lay there and felt your eternal sigh


I’d be the gem to your forte

I wish,

I wish,

In those same little notes that swept my breath away

You said the time, while it lasted, was a bliss

What, no parting kiss?

I’ll hear of you again, if the future’d entail

For Anthony Greninger lingers on in your trail…


red moon during night time
Photo by Pedro Figueras on

That’s it — that’s it, you guys. I’m so done this one. So. Done. Took me a month to finish this poem, and even then I’m not fully satisfied with how some of the stanzas resulted. But my muse is drained of any more ideas for improvement. I swear, it wasn’t easy to write. So I’ll just have to contend with what I came up with. 

*Drops pencil*


Reigning in the splashes of a moonlight’s dazzle

So swift, so curtained behind

This Japanese night

Her silhouette etched against a moonlight’s dazzle

The warriors of the rising sun loved her

Like she loved her own

Forever bonded, forever alone

She knew her place in the clan


A light shone in the cold-infested night

And within it — the sight of home

The shogunite swooned for her tonight

She was the vessel he called home

Red-lips a-blazing, eyes a-savoring

She knew what to do best

Put her masseur skills to the test

She loved making her husband feel loved


Past nocturnal passions

The shogunite said the tea was cold

She said, “Why so?”

She knew that the tea was cold

His fall echoed into the still night

Amidst the groan, gasp and hiss,

She leaned over him with a parting kiss

Her breath reeked of the ghosts of his nemesis


Heartbeats turned to footsteps on the doorstep

How she wanted to end his lasting agony

End his plight, swift and clean!

She couldn’t stand to see his dying agony

The dagger was merciful tonight

For the shogunite; he no longer stirred

Thus her chance to slip in the final word:

“Remember the clan!”


She slinks among her own

Like fleeting shadows in a moonlight’s dazzle

She runs wild and wile, that kitsune

On the eve of a moonlight’s dazzle

To a realm which owed her much

She owes nothing but her life

To those who saved her from the ruins of a medieval strife

She knew she loved her clan…


Poem form was inspired by the song, “Moonlight Shadow”, so you might see some similarities if you compare the stanzas.


Funny How the World Works


Half a year ago, I struggled with crippling depression and anxiety. I was head over heels in love. With someone — a fantasy version of someone, more like — so far away from me, physically and existentially and personality-wise. Just thinking of that person consumed my life, my mind and my self-esteem. I was no longer myself. I was living through someone else, and even then, like I said, a fantasy version of that someone.

The nightmarish pain I had getting two bags of ice tied by my coach onto my sore feet after a cross country workout the other day (*Screeeeeeeeeeeeech*) was nothing, nothing, compared to my emotional torment. Last semester, I hobbled through school without much direction. Every day was a matter of surviving, not living. I spent my energy dodging the worst anxiety attacks…if I was lucky.

The scariest part was knowing I was enslaved within the snares of my mind because of something that’s supposed to be beautiful but instead made my life a living hell: infatuation.

Luckily, I am aware that I have a rational side. It calmly took note of what I was feeling and all the sensations and thoughts that came with it. It assessed the situation but didn’t get pulled in. It calmly told me,

“Allll righty. Tiff’s in love — how poetic. Let’s milk it. Milk it, I say. We’ve got a lot of material to work with! Get to work, now!”

And within time, my feelings became translated into several heartfelt poems, which by the way I felt proud of. And trust me, “proud of” myself isn’t a feeling I’m used to.

Another time I was hiking up Mt. Tamalpais with my family. I was surrounded by nature, loved ones, and a whole day of fun, but I was feeling none of it. Depression struck, and I never felt so alone.

At least you have family by your side, I mused. Like, some people have no family. Be glad yours are alive. Gee, I wonder how what kind of depression orphaned people go through? What is it like for those whose parents have died when they were still children?

Wait. What if…?

A light bulb went off. Okay, multiple to be more accurate, because ideas upon ideas were pouring into my head all at once, cluttering the space until I was fervently collecting the shards before they disappeared from memory. Because at that moment, an idea for a novel dropped into my head. My protagonists would feel the same depression as I did, only on a much, much deeper level. They’d feel the same hopelessness, think the same distorted thoughts, suffer the same pain. Throw in some murdered parents Peter-Parker style and a whodunit mystery. Oh, and clinically diagnosed psychopaths. That would be interesting. My head teemed with the potential my new inner life promised me.  Isn’t it the most relishing experience, to think up of groundwork for a novel, and you’re so in love with it?

The rational part of my mind must’ve had a field day.

“You’re depressed? Again?! Hmm. Let’s use that to your advantage. Look — look! Somebody more depressed than you. Your protagonist. Guess what? He has a story to tell — because you were the first one who came out with one. Yeah, you can thank me when you gets published. Kiss my boots when your become famous. How ‘bouh dah?”

To think that my darkest shadows, my worst demons, and my murkiest ponderings have been fuel for some of my creative endeavors. Do you believe suffers happen for a reason bigger than ourselves, even when it becomes too unbearable?

Perhaps the world’s blessings and torments are interconnected. And it’s up to us to own our torments and turn them into something beautiful. It’s why “art” exists.

Funny how the world works.

And funny how creative writing ideas come about.