Poetry

Suffering in Silence

They say you should talk to someone,

That talking makes it better;

But what happens

When you feel you can’t,

That you can’t approach anyone,

You can’t allow yourself to open up,

Let them know how you feel;

When you feel disconnected

From everyone,

Disconnected from the world;

You can’t let anyone in,

Don’t want to let anyone close,

Refuse to let them know

How you’re truly feeling.

Unable to form the words,

Let guards fall down,

Express

How much of a mangled mess

Your heart is in;

So you take it upon yourself

To struggle in silence,

Put on a brave face

Only talk to God in prayer;

Letting tears fall

Behind the safety of closed doors,

Because you refuse

To let them see you vulnerable.

Those once held close

Now in the distance,

Those who could be close

Always held at a distance;

And those who are close,

You keep a distance

Between you,

Afraid of letting them in,

Wanting to keep your burdens

Far from them.

So what happens

When you can’t talk to someone,

When it simply isn’t an option?

Because you can’t force yourself

To talk

When you feel you can’t open up

To other human beings.

Love Letter to TCFT

To TCFT,

I was a shell when I met you,

Waiting to be cracked open,

Released,

Set free into the world.

Closing myself off,

Not seeing my potential,

Believing I was good enough

Or able to reach my dreams.

Fearful of everything –

Rejection,

Being vulnerable,

Isolation,

Looking a fool;

But with you,

I cracked open,

Potential spilling out,

Fears released;

You taught me how to fly.

A confidence began to grow,

A confidence I never knew I had,

Breaking out of my comfort zone,

But feeling comfortable,

The good replacing the bad.

A place where I could be vulnerable,

Reveal the inner me,

Act a little weirdly,

Laugh loudly,

Or openly express my grief.

Learning how to fly

Just scratches the surface

Of what you mean to me

TCFT,

I never imagined two years ago

In Bosnia,

I’d have another huge family;

Like a lamb thrown to the wolves,

I didn’t know where to turn,

But I was adopted in,

Joined the pack,

Found a home away from home.

The love I feel is like no other,

Support beyond compare,

Hugs, kisses, kind words

Around every corner,

Bright smiles

And touches of care.

It started with my house sisters,

Nomes and Ellie,

Who shared a room with me;

Then Filip and Rory made me feel part of the pack,

Voice-noting the sister who means the world to me.

The care shown by Mikica and Robert,

Nevena and Ljubiša when I felt anaemic,

Bonding over dinner with Nina and Marko,

Sitting down to talk with Sandra.

Also having a heart-to-heart with Naomi,

A never-ending handshake with Miguel,

Chatting for hours with Saaf,

Dancing with Saša.

Thank you Tina for being my constant champion,

Thank you Darren for your thoughtful advice,

Thank you Mary for coming down to Croydon

And filming my poetry night.

I love you Francesco for being so full of life,

I love you Ismir for your beautiful smile,

I love you Luka for being so cute and sweet,

I love you Carina for your kind heart.

The list is endless,

I could go on for hours,

You’ve all touched my life in some way;

We’re family,

You’re in my heart,

Forever there you’ll stay.

You’ve given me a place to belong,

Which I never thought I’d find,

You gave me a gift

And so much more to write;

An answer to a prayer

I had no idea I prayed.

So this letter is to you TCFT,

My life-changer,

A gift from God,

My family;

I love you with all my heart

And always will.

Love

Shaniqua, Shefika, Shani

Fighting Off The Enemy

Gotta keep fighting;

Fighting against the thoughts in my head

That tell me,

“I’m not good enough,”

“I can’t do this,”

“I won’t make it,”

“No one will care.”

Achievements,

My abilities,

Mean nothing to these voices;

The good

Always obliterated by the bad,

The positives

Cancelled by the negatives.

Fear paves the way,

Opening the gate

For the inner demons to stride in,

Settle down

And make themselves at home;

Filling my mind

With poison

That’s torture to get rid of.

When things are moving forward,

Challenges beginning to arise,

That’s when the fear comes,

Looming over like dark cloudy skies;

Trying to stop me from moving forward,

Wanting to hold me back,

If the enemy sees I’m making progress,

That’s when they choose to attack.

Leaving me in the never-ending battle

Being fought within,

Now I need to make sure

The enemy doesn’t win.