Anha

Australia

dreaming of goddesses, sunflowers and italian sunshine.
yet, every heaven has a hell under its surface.

write free, SomeFormOfWriting
miss you, LackingASocialLife
go be great, paperbird

Message to Readers

i am achingly aware that this is longer than it should be

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stolen breaths and ink-stained fingertips

July 27, 2019

your lungs become wildfire; veins felled like smoking trees.
despite the beauty of the smiling stone cherubs and bouquets of roses and stargazer lilies,
nothing could ever eclipse the stain of his dirty, mortal, mediocrity. 
dark matter dripping off her like water. 
the rhythm of the earth's heartbeat. 
artemis, her skin wet with dreams. 
 
her body was a vast, sunkissed prairie, hands of wheat reaching to the sky, waving in the wind. 
their hands meet, and the light spills out in a flood, like a hundred golden urns pouring out the sun. 
i am the daughter of the witches they were never able to burn.
time is a shining coccyx in my halo of bones and space junk. 
 
they found me by the gnarled ankles of an olive tree. 
the charge towards troy looks like the tide coming in; the glint of swords and armour is fish-scale beneath the sun. 
i could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; i would know him blind, by the way, his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. 
i found you in spinning words and old prayers. 
i had expected chimes, not the grinding of rocks in the surf. 
out of the corner of my eye, i watch galaxies collide and slip into a sleep longer than the lifetime of the sun. 
it’s just cosmic poetry. 
it blooms out of the molten stardust that fall from her eyes. 
she smells like ivory and rain, stardust still hanging off her eyelids. 
a phrase repeated,
page after page,
with infantile insistence,
with nursery-rhyme rhythm. 
a star inside your ribcage and the light reaches through the slats of your bones like it’s trying to escape from the pitiful cage that is you.
we are not broken, we are fragments of the moment, mended by sunbursts and ostentatious marble.
a golden-hour glow will not gloss over the knots in your silhouette. 
fateful feathered martyr,
empty eyes swirling and stormy. 
like a bird when it cries,
one day i'll wake up  wearing a crown of fingerprints round my neck,
amongst the ceaseless growth of night-sky lobelias and silver leaf ivies. 
there is no black or white here - everything is transcendental, ethereal, beyond extremes or meaning of any kind. 
the trees protrude towards the sky in defiance of gravity. 
 
her black eyes seem to contract, like dying stars. 
lady justice holds the scale.
cruel lips twist into cruel smiles and cruel words come, and you can hear the false gods fall. 
clock hands hesitant within every hour as the sun slowly caresses it’s nostalgic fingers along its surfaces,
skinny fingers that bear the shape of keys. 
“die under a fiery sky for me.”
like dreams, if they cease?
his skin was warm in my arms, as a sun-hot stone and soft as petal-velvet. 
temptation in the shape of kerosene, like a slave to candle wicks.
the fantasy flickers and she explodes into a flock of indigo birds.
the moon cowers from the monstrosities behind the clouds. 
gold sunshine strung tight on the horizon suspends night and day in glass.
whatever gods are pulling us round and round, they built us beautiful, darling. 
 
i knew how the shadows pierced through skin and soul, grew thorns in veins, and whispered poison in ears.
i'm sick of being copper, dress me up in gold and unattainability,
like a knife when it draws. 
ocean tastes of blue blood, shaken.
he hangs his shirt to dry before the moon. 
i stared at it until i could see it even when i closed my eyes, the yellow curve bright against the dark of my eyelids.
gods that become frozen and heartless are always the first to drown galaxies. 
petals falling; a storm of blush --
oils that smelled of sandalwood and pomegranate.
pharmakis – witch,
licking the crowd’s worship off his lips. 
the stars turned and turned through the night above my unsleeping eyes. 
i raise my arms to the sacellum,
phantom fingers pulling at my bones. 
 
i sat in the shade of an oak as tears spewed from my eyes like blossoms into a lily pond. 
the flash of bright hair in lamplight. 
ivy creeping up your skin,
and moss in the crevices of your armour. 
i just wish you could rebirth my impermanence; time is the only thing uneven in the cosmos. 
the wind shrieks as it fumbles for fate / but destiny's hands remain hidden. 
rust-coated nostalgia,
eyes are euphoric, cheeks are rosy, and the clicking of the clock goes unnoticed. 
 
why don't you lie down and drink down the salt in the air, as the stars fall into the ocean?
bright sunlight broke and poured over achilles, when rolling down his hair and back and skin, turning him to gold.
that day the yard was cast in a heady glow, and for the rest of forever the sun's retreat will make the vacancy in her chest sing. 
he takes the form of a mirror’s broken bones,
hair lit like honey in the sun. 
when he smiled, the skin at the corners of his eyes crinkled like a leaf held to a flame. 
she would rehearse her swordplay at the rebirth of dawn,
like a deer, listening for the hunter’s bow. 
laughter written in the stars and the ocean foam. 
like sand when it spreads. 
they fisted it through the moss as they dragged themselves into the light. 
ichor glues our cracked smiles and gold shimmers in our eyes and our eyes leak stardust. 
our inevitability eclipses ashen dust. 
time is a dance i've never learned.
the sun crouches behind seared trees, it lingers
like a frightened child. 
like fireflies
trapped in a jar
who have forgotten
what it feels like
to fly
even after you unscrewed the lid
and set them free.
a boy without ruin in his blood makes of a poor story. 
watch the gulls swoop into his arms -- wings heavy with silence, weeping. 
shadows clung to my fingernails. 
it’s destiny. 
the gods spinning us round, moving like an otherworldly dance through the cosmos of our words,
turned into beauty and desire by men who held a paintbrush in their grasp. 
carved of earth and marble and gold. 
they burned her that night on cypress wood, the tree of our darkest gods. 
and maybe icarus needed to fall - so that he could feel the water where it stole away the burning, and traded wings for fins and scales. 
 
cutting my feet on sharpened glory. 
an old grand church that sang its hymns and dirges with a heavy and burning soul. 
one thousand, one hundred and eighty-six didn’t fit well in a line of verse.
hymn, hymn, humming into the skull,
paid by truth. 
a harvest mood, full and orange, hung in the dusk. 
you slice your skin against wood
collecting splinters like cupid's arrows. 
but there were lessons to be learned from youth, a thousand collected allegories, a patchwork of experience. 
 
afternoon and twilight, twilight and dawn, the pearl guards the night like a steadfast soldier, a commander watching the skies with troops of glittering stars, diamond cosmos, illumined novas.
his hair was fine as lyre-strings themselves, and shone. 
glazed and gleaming, shards of stained pottery. 
my tongue ran away from me, giddy with freedom,
quicksilver in the moonlight, drawn by rivers and spider string. 
hubris.
the word blistered the back of his throat like a collapsed star; spitting out his starlife and what was left of his soul.
marking our wrists with blood and ash, binding as chains. 
what a funny thing, really; for fate to love coincidence, but coincidence to hate to be loved by fate. 
darlin', i've built galaxies from broken ribs and made rings of planets around my pupils.
ones that were young in the face yet eon in the eyes.
a deep voice that reminded one of heavy rain over a meadow. 
string the earth, jupiter, uranus, mars together, braid them into your hair, listen to the cacophony as they shatter at the cores. 
 
cruel knives carve cruel hearts open with cruel curiosity, and so those who warned crumble under the weight of the sky.
i am held together by blood and sweat and tears and the memories, a silver thread to bind them all. 
the room buzzes (not with honeybees, but with promises).
our nights are filled with smoke
it drips off the incense tray
and fills my whole room with the
essence of patchouli and rose.
a daylit wanderer born for the crescent.
we had wings made of fire and we were teaching the earth how to love. 
 
he shimmers, like rock pools and seaweed grottoes.
the green oak leaves crowded around his hair, like a crown.
they leaned towards him, like flowers to the sun, drinking in his lustre. 
cradling a moon in palm, the sun underneath his tongue. 
those barbed, heavy, refracted blades of black ink, filled with the contaminated ripeness of late-adolescent disillusionment. 
the lightning ceases, and there is darkness for a moment, the rain pouring out burning anger.
my fingers pull the air apart, and i sing out to the stars. 
the memories do not come as words, but like dreams, rising as scent from the rain-wet earth. 
dream of caves in space because the first angels wiped blood from their hands when they scraped it against the rock of the earth. 
the water is dark and covered in a thousand stars. 
 
i told you about the sun and the moon and the way they shone, and i sent you mediterranean dreams from the spinning mountains as i travelled. 
ruins sing that naught is built to last. 
a place where the rivers flow like ichor across gaea's skin. 
the goddess gave me flowers in my eyes and herbs in my skin, so i will plant them for her.
dawn’s renaissance was for the young and the new, and yet it felt like a death and a defeat wrapped in one.
she is made of cathedrals and bonfires and home. 
her skin shone luminous and impossibly pale, as if it drank light from the moon. 
i could smell her, sea water laced with dark brown honey.
the sun holds her with high prestige, the trace of his fingers in her smile as she sang the hymns of his lyre. 
stories
built, just to be struck by a
quick end, with the snipping of
their all too short ribbon by
the scissors of the fates, an eye
shared between three spiders
weaving the fate of human
destiny. 
like a mountain when it peaks.
hourglass; but the clock cries. 
your cheeks were misty against the morning. 
the gods love only overblown hubris borne of their legends.
nooses on ancient trees coaxing you closer. 
the blood spreads, dark as spilled wine. 
her dress was dark, the colour of an uneasy ocean, bruising purples mixed with churning greys. 
a silent destiny chiselled into stone. 
the stars began to fall faster now; a collection of combusted souls all white with woe, dripping like wax off a lit candle.
layers of metal flashing like the bright wings of cicadas. 
“don’t die all milky & white in a field of flowers because you tried to run.”
your wings are still wet from stepping out of the wet of the earth & the drops, they do not fall from the ends of you, until they’ve gathered and sparkled against the endless sky that you are not allowed to touch and i’ve heard people call you divine and possibly born from the pit of inspiration in some god’s stomach but you have moved too far away and now you’ve got golden streaked knees & a water logged head and hair that tastes nothing like salt but still like the sea. 
divine blood purified our muddy race, bred heroes from dust and clay.
the prophetess cannot predict this disarray, this disenchantment, this apathy.
buffalo hooves
turning the soil up, like a –
gypsy flips the tarot card,
grinning within green eyes,
hopeful as the lightning.
skin as smooth as the golden ichor of gods that drips from the fine cracks in her facade piling into her collarbones like rainwater. 
wrap the milky way around your wrists and over your shoulders and let it's luminescence fill your blood with light. 
constellations enrobed in skies;
the heavens don velvet cloaks dark as the abyss.
stretched across the horizon, tangled with sheets of flossed cloud.
 
perhaps i am some reborn tragedy.
i feel like daphne, i told him, barked up in her new laurel skin.
a wreath of dusty green leaves, freshly clipped, rubbed to a shine by thumb.
pull the bloody thorns from your skin as angel wings burst from your back.
his skin was the colour of just-pressed olive oil, and smooth as polished wood.
i awake from a millennia-long sleep in the cat's eye galaxy and order an interstellar train to the milky way.
“well, darlin’,” charmed fate, “what did i tell ya? we’re written in the stars, you and me.”
somewhere, what remains of your memory
collapses in on itself with the grace of dying stars
unravelling the strings of your soul into something forgotten.
 
he is beautiful but coldly so, a winter’s morning,
someone as flighty as the sky.
his spear-point flies in a dark whirlwind, bright as the evening star.
his skin is soft and almost mahogany in the occasional flashes of lightning, and poseidon roars his fury outside the window.
like a storm when it strikes.
the levi lake swallows stars,
damp as curled as a flower at dawn.
lightning struck, scarring the sky with lilac meander accept the sky’s philosophies and teachings of the silence after the storm.
 
the sun in my eyes like sweet, bleeding papaya,
tough as a blackberry thicket.
when she was reborn, shame was cast away by the moon's tides and burnt to ash with the sun's rays.
she seems to like the way the ripples look, dispersing back to glass. 
apollo screamed out, a sound that sounded like music,
his throat, supple and fawn-skin soft.
some flame fortune wound into the sand.
lovers with flowers in their body live until the earth decides it is their turn.
goodbye to cotton candy skies, to pomegranate-dark afternoons,
blood dripped like involuntary tears.
the autumn reds and oranges bloomed like plumage. 
we looked like whispers,
lamented like hummingbirds. 
dawn is unfurling shyly across the horizon. 
my lips breathed silk into your ears. 
and i swear, in her voice i can see cathedrals and paintings, fractals of light and golden, golden church bells. 
we knew they were infinitesimal,
cherry-picked by fate.
 
perch dead leaves high, as summer's kings,
envious death would drink his blood, and grow young again. 
he weeps until his tears turn to the fountains that adorn the centre of his garden palms. 
the keen edge of my envy was like flint, one spark away from fire.
in a flurry of light, i invent a crying world.
their new universe’s topography is humble,
a startling red, the colour of fire-forged bronze.
the flowers hung lank around us, wan and fragile as moth wings.
we're both intruders in this manet painting of a night, holding onto the smallest piece of eternity. 
i am so used to loving hellfire and curves that i do not know what to do about his halo and sharp lines.
 
this is the curtain call. so i get ready to dress myself, in cloaks of sin, and gowns of wrath. 
when i am going home
i feel like a dream folding in half. 
your emotions run wild like wolves on a rabbit's trail, the intensity of rawness so incomprehensible wash over you, the ebb and flow; a casualty of the tide.
trees hauling the heavy air like a stooped atlas,
sap-like when it weeps.
the smoke above floats like charred feathers of a hapless dove.
he would beg me to join him, to bear witness to his miracles.
i force myself to lie on my side only as to stare through the flame at him. 
the night kisses the crowns of our heads. 
fear trailed behind him, a shadow of his glowing divinity. 
maybe i’ve spent too long with my fingers itching to hold my palm against atlas’ face, to take a little of the weight of the heavens from across his shoulders and drape it over me like some semblance of a new beginning for the damned.
and sometimes they slip dreams into our sleep. 
it came all at once after that, like spring floods from the mountains. 
 
pour liquid gold down your aching throat to put out the fire in your lungs. 
painting river-water into my skin,
folklore and wisps of a dwindling pipe dream. 
maybe in exchange for his sunlight, you'll build him wings
of something sturdier than wax. 
it was almost like tears, in how swiftly it came. 
falling in love with the smallest part of a soul. 
icarus of the fearless flight. 
ink incarnate; devil made solid.
lined with sharp edges and fading lines, charcoal pressed across a darkening sky. 
my feet were dark against its pallor,
tribal beating in her soul and wanderlust colouring my lips.
the thinnest threads of loyalty bind her
interwoven in her gypsy soul. 
your ambitions appear like islands in high tide, disappearing when your moon is too far to feel, creeping out of the depthless waters when your gravity's pull is too strong.
 
the first angels did not fist their hands through the folds of galaxies.
the drowsiness that fell on him like a boulder, and then the power lifting him like cresting waves, granted by the fates themselves.
the sea was flat as a polished bronze mirror. 
you were too full of flame.
loosen up your silver hands. 
the ink cuts across time
and settles along the edge of our lips. 
they gave you soft words and endless love and they gave me italian dreams and earthly worship.
always returning, circling, moving in the in-betweens of peach trees and hastily written poetry.
 
i sit beside the lady with hands like greek marble,
where the universe is not made up of stars and planets but mirages knitted together by fine silk and crushed lavender blossoms.
it's a moment before i get my voice back, and when i do it's dripping silver raindrops.
i can feel death chasing my heels, on wings of iron and steel.
to leave him only in a cold, lightless space drifting like a forgotten astronaut.
all flowers in time bend towards the sun,
beautiful, but cold as moonlight.
i would know him in death, at the end of the world.
dancing on the edge of immortality until a bright blue hand of fate coaxed us over to the forgetful side, the side where the flowers bloom only to wither again.
dark
where my ancestors have been waiting,
painting me constellations and setting me aflame.
what is rain but blood of the sky?
 
our eyes are brights as fire, and our hair is like sun on the water. 
her hands smell like roses, her body like almonds and beeswax. 
his beauty shone like a flame, vital and bright, drawing my eye against my will. 
i was lulled to sleep by their
whispering shadows;
the night sky seared into lucid visions
 the galaxies present atop stiff peaks
painted, as if by van gogh, in my wildest dreams.
light spills into it in golden pools and your sketches and transcriptions turn into faded prophecies that already seem centuries old - and when you finally set them aside there is a bitterness and beauty worn into the paper. 
the word i use is hubris – our word for arrogance that scrapes the stars, for violence and towering rage as ugly as the gods. 
i speak a dead language and turn entropy into a river made of macaque feathers.
her limbs lift into the grey waves like the steady beats of wings.
he’s sleeping with the fish and breathing water for air. 
all this while i have been a weaver without wool, a ship without the sea.
yet now look where i sail.
what is god but ashes and pleading?
"i am drawn to you like the cliffs to the sea.”
maybe the sun is different here.
in the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk.
the sun sets over the fields of elysium.

i will twist the strands of fate and learn from their unrelenting gleam.
unfortunately i wasn't able to use my entire stockpile in this piece, for a variety of reasons (it didn't fit the tone, the phrasing  was too colloquial or too technical, etc), but believe it or not, most of these lines are written by your peers from right here in the wtw community. can spot something you recognise from a piece you've read before?

featured writers:
araw
ethereal.otherworldly
jengelman
r.j.elsewhere
oscar_locke
paperbird
rainandsonder
pouringoutthesun
ghostlyglory
agustdv
muppet
artificialaorta
aryelee
loveletterstosappho
lauren nelson
surly wombat
annie_cheng
carpizza
zodiethegreat
kr
xen
alangford
mgdoeswriting
amphitrite
blankitude
bluebookbadger
cisco chico
dani a. remlap
gwyn
eyes wide open
elleigator
emily rice
engi_aek
halcyon
jack hanton
jey min (sota)
jonae
justpeachy
littlepilot
m.b.
mariemare
marsan
mattalyn
megzegzoo
mia m
milamae
phoebedln
r|a|i|n
saunteredvaguelydownwards
thecrazychatlady

and a special addition outside of wtw, madeline miller, author of 'song of achilles' and 'circe'.

if anyone's interested, i used this website to randomise the quotes i had collected, then made some minor changes to the order in some places, just so it flowed better.

disclaimer: if it isn't already blatantly obvious - NONE OF THIS IS MY WORK EXCEPT THE LAST LINE. i am not claiming anyone's work for my own, this is simply a compilation.

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  • July 27, 2019 - 7:20am (Now Viewing)

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8 Comments
  • she's-got-a-story

    gorgeous


    4 months ago
  • loveletterstosappho

    this is so so gorgeous, i mostly recognize lines from ethereal.otherworldly's pieces (many about you, i believe) and lines from r.j.elsewhere's piece about fate and coincidence. thank you for featuring a line from my piece 'savior complex' as well!!
    anyway this is a masterpiece, thank you for this compilation


    4 months ago
  • r|A|i|N

    oh my god, i just spent like thirty minutes reading all of this through. it's so wonderfully assembled - you did a fantastic job. i'm astounded at how well every line fits together, and each one is so beautiful; it's truly a best-of compilation. i recognized a few lines here and there - i think the references to icarus and the line about planting the goddess's herbs are from ethereal.otherworldly's pieces, and "rust-coated nostalgia" and "lamented like hummingbirds" might be paperbird? the line about the bleeding papaya is definitely rainandsonder. i also feel like i've heard "your cheeks were misty against the morning" somewhere, but i can't quite place it. i'm still looking for more things i can place; hoping to find lines from ghostlyglory or oscar_locke, who are some of my favorite writers, or a quote from me (it's funny, but i have a terrible time recognizing what i myself i have written). thank you so much for including me in this list; i'm honored! i'll definitely be rereading this piece way more than is healthy.


    4 months ago
  • fatpanda

    Great gesture and fabulous writing!


    4 months ago
  • PouringOutTheSun

    I’m gonna cry Anha, I was so confused when I was reading stuff that sounded familiar, purely because I thought this was just a poem of yours but then I got my head together and realized what it was, and you’re just so damned amazing, aren’t you? That may sound a little weird but you’ve gone and created something so, so beautiful and I’m getting all high and heavy handed again but thank you. Thank you so much because this was so much fun to read and the pure talent laced throughout it. It’s magnificent


    4 months ago
  • rainandsonder

    wow, this is amazing!! thanks so much for including me. it's incredible how you took all these gorgeous lines and made them come together into one poem.


    4 months ago
  • Oscar_Locke

    Actually, this has to be the best thing I've ever read on the site. Congratulations to everyone involved, and Anha for making this. This is so special, and I feel so grateful to even be slightly involved. Thank you so much.


    4 months ago
  • Oscar_Locke

    I am so honoured, this is really cool!


    4 months ago