Fallen Leaves

The other day, as I walked the streets,

I found more leaves strewn across the floor,

Than swaying on the branches of the tree.


Orange, yellow, and bottle green.


Do the branches not feel naked?

Can the leaves help but weep from above?

And is the fall a little too hard? Just a little too harsh.


Orange, yellow, and bottle green.


How many tries it must take,

To hold on with everything inside of you,

To make a branch your only home.


Orange, yellow, and bottle green.


Maybe we would all be better off

If we didn’t long for home.

You don’t abandon what you don’t own.


Orange, yellow, and bottle green.



I passed a bakery with the loveliest smells,

And remembered the warmth of my mother’s cakes.

Was carrot cake our unanimous pick for this week?


Orange, yellow, and bottle green.












Letting Go

Life works in funny ways.


Some days I welcome the sunlight

that creeps through my window,

And on the others I abandon the rays,

In all ways I’ve learned to say, “no.”


I’ve grown up loving permanence

And running away from traces of change.

I inked a tattoo where I could see it,

So I can feel familiarity running through my vein.


I don’t intend on buying a dog,

I’m not too sure I could deal with its demise.

And yet, I think if we can all feel too much,

Too often, too soon – it would suffice.


But life works in wonderful ways too.


Today my 4 year old niece

Slept beside me, and breathed slow.

And with the reassurance of her presence,

I learned to let my worries go.

















A House in the Mountains with You

A wooden cottage, even a tiny one would do,
As long as it’s a house in the mountains with you.

We could sit by the river, and find our favourite rocks,
And I could be wearing my favourite mismatched polka dot socks.

And you know I wouldn’t disturb you just as you sat to read,
Sometimes the comfort of your silence is all I need.

We don’t need to take turns to the market; it could always be us two,
But you know I’ll be partial to the dinners cooked by you.

We could build a fireplace for the cold, snowy nights,
And the purposeful mountains would take care of the trivial fights.

A wooden cottage, even a tiny one would do,
As long as it’s a house in the mountains with you.

And maybe, we would finally find a home.

Jerry Pinto: Some Ways Not to Write a Poem

the duckbill blog

Jerry Pinto is a poet, novelist and writer of splendid non-fiction.

1. Please don’t try and rhyme. If you do it all the time, you will end up wasting time.

You see what happened there? I started by saying don’t rhyme and then I thought up a nice rhyme and I thought it would be a crime not to rhyme this time and suddenly I wasn’t saying what I wanted to say but I was saying what the rhyme wanted me to say. The last word was suddenly ruling the rest of the sentence. So you don’t have to rhyme. But the words must sound nice and musical. See if you can set them to a beat, a thumpetty-thumpetty-thump.

2. Don’t be sloppy and soppy.

Please don’t tell me you love your Mummy, she is so sweet, she makes nice things for me to eat.

Oh Goosefeathers, I’m doing it…

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When All The Women Gather on the Street

The woman who runs the village with dreams of her own,

And the one trying to make the alien city her home.

When all the women gather on the street, we have no secrets to keep.


The labourer who leaves her children at day care as she works 9 to 9,

And the one who started the day care to help women who couldn’t spare a dime,

When all the women gather on the street, we have no secrets to keep.


The old woman on the armchair with the inhaler by her side,

Helped by the one who began running when she was barely five.

When all the women gather on the street, we have no secrets to keep.


The woman who couldn’t care less about body hair,

And the one who runs the city’s best boutique.

When all the women gather on the street, we have no secrets to keep.


The trans woman with the will of steel,

And the one trying to question her own beliefs.

When all the women gather on the street, we have no secrets to keep.


The woman with the alcoholic husband,

And the one who needs a whisky for a good night’s sleep.

When all the women gather on the street, we have no secrets to keep.

An ode to Andrea Gibson

I’ve always believed that sharing poetry is one of the most beautiful things there is. It’s like letting somebody in to the world of all that you believe in, and all that you want the world to be like.

On the occasion of World Poetry Day, here’s a curation of some of my favourite words weaved together by Andrea Gibson, one of my most favourite poets. I think their (preferred pronoun) poetry is a constant reminder that words carry within them the power to heal, and to touch the lives of people you’ll never be able to meet.


  1. On discovering that her mother thought LOL stood for Lots of Love:

“What do we owe to the truth?

Certainly not our mother’s smiles.

I couldn’t think of a worse thing to take from her

than the comfort she had offered others.


So I stayed quiet, and prayed that if she became

the laughing stock of town, the laughers would 

Laugh Out Loud and she would hear it the way she always had.

Just Lots Of Love.  Just Lots And Lots And Lots Of Love.”

(Excerpt from LALALOL:


  1. On reminding us that we’re all part scared to say we’re scared, an part say it anyway:

“You panic button collector.
You clock of beautiful ticks.
You run out the door if you need to.
You flock to the front row of your own class.
You feather everything until you know you can always, always shake like a leaf on my family tree and know you belong here.

You belong here and everything you feel is okay.

Everything you feel is okay.”

(Excerpt from Panic Button Collector:


  1. On knowing that hope can get you through most things:

“Ya’ll, I know this world is far from perfect.
I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.
I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.
But every ocean has a shoreline
and every shoreline has a tide
that is constantly returning
to wake the songbirds in our hands,

To wake the music in our bones.”

(Excerpt from Birthday, For Jenn:


  1. On realizing that Privilege is being the featured performer at a University’s Women of Colour Symposium, instead of a Woman of Colour:

“Honey, do you have any idea

How much privilege is takes,

To think it’s cool to dress poor?

You wear that dirty shirt and you’re a radical

Saving the world. I wear that dirty shirt

And I am a broke junkie thief

Getting followed around every store.”

 (Excerpt from Privilege Is Never Having to Think About It:


  1. On the things that really matter, and questions we must always ask:

See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate

And if that day still trembles beneath your bones

Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain

or bounce in the bellies of snow?

And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree

to build your snowman arms?

Or would you leave the snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree?

And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you

because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek?

(Excerpt from Asking Too Much:








If I Were Nine Again

I’d let my mother tie my pigtails, instead of insisting I try,
There’s a whole lifetime of pushing yourself that you can’t skip by.

I’d make sure my dad dropped me to school everyday.
So I would have an audience for all that I had to say.

I’d read more books about fairies and gnomes and imps
Maybe then I’d know how that boy is so happy despite his limp.

I’d go cycling with the shy neighbourhood kid everyone found strange.
It’s nice to have someone who listens, for a change.

I’d stand up to the class bully who’d always step on my shoe lace,
I could’ve learned to give it back to bosses with a little more grace.

I’d get lost in the woods as I climbed the trees,
And I’d run along home if someone comes looking for me.

I’d play make believe every hour of every day,
So I have a world of my own to escape to when the skies are too grey.