Calm after the storm – a poem by Lydia Melville

Calm after the storm –

Lashing rain sounds like crying,

like the noise of weeping tears shed for a distant dream,

now disappeared.

The ocean of my emotions rocks me on the waves towards a destination I don’t want to reach, bashing and crashing into obstacles I had not noticed before.

From the sky, clouds broaden like an expanding chest, grey in colour, ill and decaying, polluted and poisoned.

Lost.

My skin shivers, fearing your touch. A reddened cheek blows a gust of words, fuelled with cruel meaning and manipulative intentions. Lies and deceit dictate fear and aggression, forgetting to lead with empathy or compassion.

illustration by giselle storm hyam for lydia poems

You held my heart in your hand and squeezed so tightly that I was silenced.

My fragile worth oozed out of me, rotten, like a ripe plum. I collapsed like a limp puppet on a string, tired of being enraged by comments about my sex, my choices and my body.

I was stretched like an elastic band across your hand and I could not stand the tension so I snapped, enraged. I fear that soon, I will not be heard because a minority can never gain a majority’s say.

I am not the only one afraid.

Up in the distant hills though, water trickles innocently,

tickling each rock and kissing each blade of grass that it graces,

bending in banks as it whistles melodically so that when you are silent, you can hear nature sing.

I am still alive and I keep on living, breathing and kicking for the future.

I will stay strong for the innocent, still blissfully naive to the cruelty of this world. New life still awaits us like new love after heartbreak.

Quieter now after overcoming my rage, cooled by frosted dawns, cold and bitter, in the crisp mornings of winter, realising that they allow for next year’s bulbs to blossom into flowers for our pleasure.

With each other, we can once again gain back our faith to make this world great, to trump the cards on the table and cling onto the side of the crumbling cliff. With love, we humans will live to survive, one day at a time

Illustration by Giselle Storm Hyam

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