Spoken Word and Smiles | My Amazing Day with GracieChick!

On the last day of term, which so happened to be my blogging anniversary I went into London with my friend Swan to meet the amazing Gracie. It was a trip we’d been planning for weeks, spawned from a comment I’d left on a post she wrote asking if I could come and watch her in her Spoken Word performance. It started as a little idea and then flourished into one of the best days of my life.

After school, Swan and I went back to my house and after eating a little, prepared to go out. We were travelling to South London, not entirely sure of the route we were taking but the laughter that ensued from that was some of the most full laughter I’ve had in a while. It was raining but the journey in wasn’t bad: I was internally screeching with excitement, texting Gracie with far too many exclamation marks (as I always do).

We met outside the station, me accidentally waving in the wrong direction and then making some comment about how much of a mess I was. It took a while to sink in that I was actually there and on the short walk to the theatre, I couldn’t stop smiling, although I had my hood up from the rain so that I didn’t look odd with a massive grin on my face. It had taken some organisation to do this and now that I was finally there, it felt surreal.

Over hot chocolate, Swan, Gracie and I talked about everything. Conversations ranged from what our lives were like to me endlessly fangirling over bloggers – I spent a while exclaiming over how lovely and supportive Bri is. A big subject was identity and how interesting it can be to how a blogging name vs. your actual name. We talked for an hour and a half before Gracie had to go for rehearsal, by which time the cafΓ© we were in had nearly emptied.

After Gracie went to practice, her family offered to take Swan and I out for dinner which was so thoughtful of them. We went to a Vegetarian and Vegan Indian restaurant, perfect for Swan (as she’s Vegetarian with plans to go Vegan in the summer). Gracie’s mum, dad, younger brother and sister are some of the nicest people I’ve met – conversations were easy, friendly and made me feel so included. They’re so supportive of Gracie’s blog which I thought was amazing, as it took a long time before I even told my mum about this blog. As became even more pronounced later, I neither felt especially Elm-like or my real name-like (which I nearly just wrote THAT WAS TERRIFYING): I didn’t feel like I needed an identity just then because I was just present there; it didn’t matter what name I went by.

When we’d finished eating, we walked back to the theatre to collect our tickets. We went into the room where the performances were held after meeting Gracie’s aunt and uncle; there were so many other people there despite it being a relatively small room. By that point, I couldn’t wait to hear Gracie: I love her poetry and so hearing it being performed was going to be a real honour. As I’d also not heard much urban music before, I was seriously looking forward to the other performances too.

The atmosphere was electric, made more so by the enclosed and familiar space. With the lights dimmed and us sitting right at the front, I felt anticipation building up inside me. This was all totally knew: the setting, the people there, the feeling of utter freedom. I had my fingertips on the table in front of me, which was what grounded me.

I love new experiences. That was why the music, a mixture of rap, reggae and acapella, affected me so much. I have a weirdly strong reaction to lyrics or particularly powerful beats and when I was surrounded by it, I could feel my breath in my lungs and my heart beating. Perhaps it’s because I’m a dreamer at heart but I felt like I was floating, then suddenly getting jolted back to earth. Gracie was the second performer and so I’d already had this reaction and, as I started to feel more and more happy and comfortable, the emotions of the whole thing were on a constant loop inside my head.

Gracie’s performance was, in a word, magical. Of the two poems she performed, “Beauty” spoke to me most: her voice rose and fell like she breathed and owned the words, coming forth straight from her heart. I absorbed those words, feeling hit with some kind of overwhelming emotion. The swell of pride I felt in the breaks between lines and in the thundering applause I gave after was immense. It felt amazing to be sitting there, witnessing the passion she has for words in real life, and being able to talk about it.

Leaving was the hardest part. I gave Gracie and her mum a massive hug and as Swan and I walked out of the theatre, I felt like I was about to cry. On the way home, when we ran for the train, I couldn’t stop a pervading sense of euphoria from making its way to my brain. It felt carefree, like I’d done something for myself which I truly, purely enjoyed.

This was the perfect end to my term, the perfect celebration of friendship and the best way to step out of my comfort zone whilst feeling the most myself I’ve felt in months. Having Swan beside me made it even better because I couldn’t think of a better person to go on this little adventure with. I’m so thankful that it all turned out so well in the end – from the minute the little flower of thought blossomed in my mind to it becoming a reality, I knew that this was something I wanted to do. For Gracie, for me but most of all, to have all the parts of my life that I love the most collide. It was fantastic and I can’t wait to meet up with Gracie and her lovely family again.

Thank you for such an amazing evening and for letting me smile so much. I miss you loads, you are awesome and I’m still buzzing!

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

A Firebird’s Song

You thought I was cold
Didn’t you, unable to burn
Like a sparked-out fuse,
Ice-blue and unfeeling, thousand-year-old
Stardust that only hits your eyes
When your love’s been sold.

You thought I wouldn’t open,
That’s true, stark lines on ashes
When I had nothing to lose,
Thoughts on lips, shivers on hands frozen
To your wavering, silk-thin wings
As you flew me words unspoken.

You thought I was freeing
For you, a tick to pass the time, fire
Flickering out as soon as you blew
Out the sparkling light. But for me,
Standing unmoving, thawing heart a shade of wrong,
I could never quite stop seeing

The firelit need to belong-
Never touched you, your glowing eyes
A step away from the truth,
Oblivious as they whispered along
To the melody of another dance-
You made my love a burned-out song.


Sometimes, I pretend I’m cold inside. Sometimes, the people who burned me the most have made me shut down my emotions. Sometimes, I just can’t hold that in any more.
From Elm πŸ™‚

Side Character in My Own Story

I am the comma
In a sentence, the afterthought
To a word, trailing off in the middle and
Never the important sort
Of ellipses.

I’m the backing vocals
At the height of a crescendo, hope
In quiet harmony, unheard,
Falling down a slope
To lie, a discarded melody.

I am the old love interest,
Story-tired, something better ready to leap
Over my head, the readers
Never thinking how much it hurts to keep
Smiling, hiding, smiling…

I never finish the glorious tale of two
Who are happy without the underdeveloped character
With too many tears, whose chapter
Ends with a question mark.

I am the sorrow and muted horror
When love gives way to nothing-
The writer spirals somewhere different,
Pain too lonely, too boring,
But where’s that story arc for that?

The words write me,
Heartbreak created from an apostrophe-
I, a possession, owned by failure,
Vanishing into a sidestory
Of the story’s saviour.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Think I

I think

I am falling apart, pieces

Of a jigsaw, spinning

Out of control, never quite winning

The fight to keep my hopes alive.

I believe

I hate myself, twisted, ugly

Thoughts sickening, screaming; funny

How I run to save my heart

When it’s too late.

I wonder

If my heart is thumping, eyes wide-

Awakening, slowly, sobs that I cried

Silent. Suppress. Gone.

I might be

Ruining myself. Day by day,

Sick, sicker, sickest-

In my head, my mind

A fucking self-made mess and

Is this all I can be?

I am questioning

Lies caught in a freezeframe, my mind

A lie, my heart

A lie, myself?

Who am I?

I think

I am falling back together; I believe

I am fake, too broken; I wonder

What the point is; I might be

Hopeful and hoping and hopeless.

And I do not like that.


I don’t know how else to explain my thoughts other than a poem. My head’s an utter mess right now but writing helps, a little. I’m really sorry if this comes across as attention-seeking or if this upsets anyone.

I hope you’re all doing well. If you can relate to any of the words I’ve said, I’m always here to talk.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

Pretend Until It’s Real

I’ll pretend like I’m okay

For you, until you stop noticing

Because you are sick of my shattered smiles

My wide eyes barely focusing.

I’ll pretend as if I think you care,

Not like your sweet words hurt, cruel

Because they must be that – sugar on bland paper

For who’d be there, looking for me,

The little broken fool?

I’ll pretend like you’re a beginning,

A song inside a harmony

When all you ever gave me

Was a hopeless string of endings.

I’ll pretend like I don’t think of you,

Teeth bared, a tiger, a glow

In the dark. When really,

I’m breaking into shards as I know

It’s too late for love.

I’ll pretend as if my tears are pretty

And turn them into the only love story

That applies now. The only one

You’ll never see.

But I won’t pretend like you ever loved me,

Like I’m a second glance in a window

Or a fire lit bright:

That ended, I decided,

When I pretended my mind was right.


This is a weird poem which I wrote when I was having a bad day in terms of mental health; I often have moments where I get paranoid that I’m pretending to feel things and that I’m lying to myself. To make myself ackknowledge that, I wrote this poem; it’s both a way of exploring my mind and understanding that sometimes, pretending and faking isn’t a good way to try and deal with everything.

I hope, in a way, this can help you like it helped me.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Circular Mind | A Poetic Representation of My Mental Health

You hate me
Because I said the one thing that made you
Pause-
"I'm sorry; forgive me," I gasp,
I should staple my mouth shut with a silver clasp
When I said no words-
And that is why
You hate me.

You laugh at me,
With my soul as pure as steel,
My spider's web of broken feelings-
I know this because I hear it,
In my mind,
You as I cry.
That is the reason why
You laugh at me.

You lie to me,
Twisted, words falling from your lips
A lie to satisfy the terror which rips
At me – you don't care,
The creeping fingers of doubt
Claw at me
So it must be that
You lie to me.

I am fake,
I must be happy
If the tears do not fall constantly
My mind conniving, scheming
Because I must be fine
Even when my soul pines
For help-
But no, shut it down because
I am fake.

I cannot think
I cannot feel,
When my mind screams that
Not one thing I think is real-
I collapse, pieces of me
Floating,
And so I know that
My thoughts run in endless circles.
I cannot
Think.

Sometimes, the only way to get my thoughts out is through poetry. This is a short poem but to me, it illustrates how I sometimes feel and think – such as the thoughts that go through my head. I wanted to show, in my writing, that I know these thoughts to be irrational and not based off concrete evidence.

If you ever feel like this, I understand a little of how it is. It's not wrong to want to seek help for feelings of anxiety that you may experience. Feeling anxious or paranoid shouldn't be labelled as attention-seeking – they're very real feelings that affect you; it's okay to accept those as fact. It isn't always just a "phase" or something to "get over".

I'll always be here to talk if you need it.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

I am the Spider

I am nothing now
But tattered silk, ripped in
Guilt, lies and sorrow,
Dreading the undeserved and angered tomorrow-
Because of me?

I was the paragon and angel of
Justice, honesty, clear of thought;
Yet I twisted and pulled the strings so taught
As to snap, choking you,
Manipulating colours and threads until
I did not know which way was right.

What brought me to this?
I ask, bracing myself for the blow of your fist,
Your hissing words, all of which mean:
You hurt me – so I did – you do not understand.
Do I not?

Pain is not new
When it comes to you, yet now
I am the giver, you the battered soul;
Tragic yet poetic, it fills me with the cold
Of knowing: I caused this fire.

You expect me to act,
To be a perfect heart to fall
In love with the idea of love-
Do you know me at all?
Do you know I am scared of flying, letting go,
So scared that I would run, hide-
You think I do not know what I have done,
But with every word you apply to me, I know.

Let me be free, I said, then
Came back, filling my dead eyes
With happiness, thinking it would
Save me – but I, as broken as ever,
Gave you hope that shattered you.
Let me burn for it
In ashes I scattered-

You will never believe me,
When I say that I am sorry,
Say it twice, thrice, yell it-
It makes no difference and so
I run after a dream.

Leave me to my silent screams,
Hidden tears and bloodied hands-
For the web you think so cruel
Has a heart within its strands.

From Elm πŸ™‚

A Really Speedy Quick Update

Hey hey, I’m running on a rare burst of adrenaline because I had an exam today.

Yeah, only I could get an adrenaline rush from having a mock – did I forget to mention I have three mocks this week? Whoops…

Said mocks are why I haven’t been posting, replying to comments or reading blogs for a few days. I’ve been revising – erm I mean trying to revise, crying and going through a few bouts of self-hatred – and today was my first exam. All yesterday I was freaking out, for no good reason, though I didn’t do enough revision in the same way I haven’t done enough for my mock tomorrow. Well done, Elm.

Today was English; tomorrow’s History and Thursday is Psychology. English ITSELF went well: we had a question on poetry, and one on unseen prose; the former went much better than the latter. It was mainly because in the middle of writing a great first paragraph, my fucking computer froze; I had to write that paragraph three times and by the end of it, I got sick of it and started to write crap. That was even more noticeable in my prose analysis, what did I actually write? Who bloody knows – I spent 2 and a half hours writing, because of extra time and the fact that my computer took half an hour to gets its shit together.

I’m dreading the History tomorrow; the English Revolution and Germany from 1871-1914 has never caused me such anguish. From Bismarck to Bethmann-Holwegg (how do you spell that UGH) to screaming about Caprivi’s New Course, I’m very done with the past.

Have you guys had mocks yet? I’m so bad at revising, because no one will revise with me and people from other schools are doing different courses.

Oh, and I had a minature breakdown today because of French which makes me want to lock myself in a very small room and never come out, but I’ll talk about it once mocks are done. God, I’m tired and so behind with everything.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Conflicted

What is right and wrong
When it comes to you?
Gone without you for so long,
The lines begin to blur
Into one.

I should hate you,
With all my heart,
After all this time, tears falling through
The shards of glass you left, and yet
Something draws me to you,
Inexplicable.

It is wrong to forget the ways,
The words and broken promises with which
You hurt me: when you speak,
With a silken tongue and caring whisper,
Is it right for me to remember?

I am told to close myself to you,
To be careful, to always
Hold you away from me,
Resist, persist in desisting your love
Expected to not want to be
What I was, because that is
Wrong. Wrong.

They would despise me for it,
And my head wars with my feelings
Tearing, ripping apart, destroying
The careful foundations rebuilt
After your departure.

You were the flame, the original,
Untainted, flickering, morphing into
Somebody different, but even still,
My hands remember the heat.

If my body gives what my mind is unable,
Is that such a crime?
Detach the flowers, hearts, labels-
Could you ever understand,
I cannot give you what you want.
What do I want?

I am scattered;
You are broken, pieces
Running from the wind of morals shattered
But is it twisted for you, too?

To be hurt, to love, to twist my heart,
All are verbs from the same litter
Of hopeless animals: will you have them
Go hand in hand with me? Will I
Ask you to dance with these dangerous lovers?
No. Yes.

There is no right and wrong
When it comes to you,
Only the melody of past mistakes,
Not corrected, not forgotten
But put aside for one final view
Of paradise.
Now, is that wrong?

From Elm πŸ™‚

A “Poem” About Bitterness and Other Fun Emotions

It’s okay
When you look the other way
As I walk past, so that
You can’t see me.
We all want to be blind sometimes.

It’s alright
When you gaze in awe
At the fractures of our friendship, never
Knowing how much I hurt-
I can’t see your story,
Too.

I don’t mind
When you’re cold as winter frost,
Then warm as the sun’s rays-
My heart will heal in a broken cage
As I do the same.

Don’t worry
When you hate me, fire burning
In your soul,
Yet you wear the mask of love
As if it could fit you.

But I don’t think
Of the hours wasted, tears
Falling in the darkness, hands holding
The sky: I never
Fall twice, into the sea of you.

I still exist
Despite your words, heart beating
For myself, shattering as I
Let your strings maneuver me.
No more.

You can’t hold on
To my trust, when you so trampled it
Your truth, when you saw fit
To crush and break and tear
My happiness.
Did you know?

Let go of it,
Spinning, running, lost,
When I say I hate you,
When I say goodbye,
Give me freedom to say:
It will be okay.

I hope you liked that. This really isn’t about one specific person, but rather a way to release the pent up bitterness and sadness I sometimes feel.

If you feel like I do, constantly looking at the actions of others, I have one piece of advice: yes, they’ll do the things they do, but it’s up to you to tell yourself that though you care, it’s okay that they do them. It’s okay because THEY are the ones digging themselves into a hole of anger, not you. Be strong enough to remember that you CAN be the better person, rather than giving into the shit that people throw at you.

It’s so hard. Not to feel angry at how people hurt you, not to want to scream and cry about it and tell them that they’re disgusting. What I’m trying to do is admit my own faults, that I AM sad, but that in the end – it’s fine to feel that way.

It’s good to exist and feel and love and cry. God knows I do it. Think about what people have done to you, all the misery you feel because of something, and then release that somehow. You can do it in any way you want, just as long as you don’t punch/kick the person.

I’ve been given a lot of advice recently that I haven’t listened to as much as I should. I realised that’s because I’m very scared of shutting people out, letting the bitterness and irritation control me. I find it very difficult to forgive people, but still find myself UNABLE to let go – do you know the feeling?

You’ll always feel bitter and upset because of SOMETHING – I still do, and that’s part of being human. However, you don’t have to let that rule your life. You’re bigger than it and you need to go out and LIVE so that you can come back and say: “I may wonder why they do these things, but I’m the one enjoying myself.”

From Elm πŸ™‚