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To My Younger Self

One day you will think,

“I am a fuse in the centre of an armed camp.”

One day you will feel like the panther in Rilke’s poem,

Moving around “…in cramped circles”,

Seeing nothing but bars, “…and behind the bars, no world.”

Before that day comes, before you go merrily skipping to the sacrificial altar.

I want to tell you this:

Take those rose-coloured glasses

And grind them to dust beneath your feet.

Society is a magician.

Its trickster ways are legion,

Its masterful sleights of hand will make your head spin

With the lies it will have you believe.

And you will believe them all...

Don’t go looking for the one.

You are the one.

You are the love of your own life.

Everyone else is a mere shadow.

Don’t give them your whole self entire.

Keep something back,

A wild, secret garden.

Give no man dominion over that.

Or he will lay it flat, and pave it with his dreams and ambitions.

They will take your autonomy.

They will shackle you with comfort

And tell you to be grateful for the jewels in your gilded cage

And the gold in your chains.

Be angry. Therein lies your strength.

But know that anger can also exhaust you into submission.

However, if you must submit, then submit,

But only for a time,

Just long enough to nurse your wounds and bitterness

With a secret, dangerous smile.

Long enough to reclaim what has been stolen from you

And rebuild your future on their backs.

You are a panther.

Show them your teeth,

Show them your burning eyes.

You are a fuse

And there is gunpowder nearby.

Note: All my poems are published on


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