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Weaver of words. Seeker of flow. Curious generalist. Poetry, fiction, non-fiction, creativity, self, relationships, food, justice & more. https://bit.ly/354BO7C

Knowing when to walk away

A red fire with smoke billowing from it burns against a grey sky.
Smoke billowing from a fire; Licensed from Pexels

Zipped lips.
Hands tied.
Light steps.
Pain.

Compressed desires of self
delve deep,
burrow
into bone.

In service,
under pressure
to perform and
not disrupt,

dreams crush,
colors dull,
expression fades
away.

She wears the fire curtain
to protect
herself from
burns,

while tending to
consuming flames,
stoking their
supply.

The weight was thrust
upon her but
it’s hers now to
peel off.

Fleeting fits of
adoration
aren’t worth
loss of self.

At first, unsettling lightness
overcomes
a burdened
body.

When heavy armor
is cast off,
unshielded steps
ensue.

Upon the realization
that the danger
lies behind
her,

tension lifts
revealing…


When the psyche reignites old flames

A Ferris wheel can be seen looming over the fairgrounds of a carnival, backdropped by a sky just at the end of sunset, with a gradient from dark blue at the top of the image, to purple and then red.
View of carnival grounds at dusk; Licensed from Евгения Корнеева, Adobe Stock

The Ferris wheel in my mind
spins back around to you.
Unspoken words,
questions never asked,
the vulnerability dodged
in misguided attempts
at self-preservation
rush out
as the carnival attendant
lifts the steel bar
that contained us.

We meander the vacant
fairgrounds of our short-lived,
youthful love,
passing spun sugar words,
winding, adventurous mazes,
countless unwinnable games.
The thrilling veneer
dulls and cracks
the further into the
experience we wander
but with aching feet
and lonely hearts,
we press on.

All of it leads us to
the final attraction —
a rollercoaster,
the likes of which I’ve
never seen before.
Its…


Celebrating my individuality during Pride month

Light refracted through a sphere; licensed from @escarlosfx, Adobe Stock

At times I see myself
as a beige smudge,
a blur between places —
ambiguous enough
to belong everywhere
and nowhere
all at once.

It seems my role is
to hang in the balance.
But then I remember…

I am sun-warmed sand
hugging weary feet
through tiring journeys.

I’m Ceylon tea
spilled on a map,
connecting continents
and mountain ranges
from peak to peak
and beneath ocean depths.

My arteries mimic the rivers
that flow between motherlands
and fatherlands
distantly known.

My skin is a time-tinted scroll,
etched with forgotten origin
stories that can be felt to the touch,
through the spirit,
but never…


Finding the way to quiet poignancy

A Romanesque Revival style building at dusk at a major intersection with cars passing through.
A main intersection in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Photo courtesy of the author

The beeping,
the bustling,
the buzzing,
the noise.

Is this city
louder or
have I become
more quiet?

Desensitization
acquiesces
to prickling
sensitivity.

My skin crawls
at clangs and
bangs that distract
creative thought.

Living in the
jumbled jungle,
metropolitan
life exhausts.

I have reached
an age and stage
that begs of me
to rest.

The rushing,
the fussing,
the pushing
for more

worked for my
younger self
now lost to
the march of time.

Presently I find in
me softness and
openness that’s
better self-attuned.

In serenity
I hear more clearly
and value
select sounds

that I prioritize
as…


Losing 37 followers in an hour seems like a glitch

A woman with curly hair holds her head in frustration while looking at a laptop.
Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

This morning, I lost 37 followers within an hour. I also noticed that I wasn’t following some of the writers I definitely followed recently. What’s going on?

I read a story the other day from a writer who was mysteriously no longer following people he had previously followed. I would like to tag that story here but unfortunately, it has disappeared from my reading history.

Has anyone else experienced this? Followers are more important on Medium now than ever but it seems like more glitches are happening to impact followings. When I follow someone, it’s because I was lucky enough…


An acrostic poem commemorating the Indigenous children subjected to Canada’s residential school system

A field of sweetgrass covered in dew that is illuminated by morning light.
Sweetgrass covered with dew in the morning light; Licensed from Volodymyr, Adobe Stock

in the years of darkness, they
lay restlessly,
left covered up and passed over.
unjustly, their pasts and futures were buried,
muddied by black soil suppressing the stories
in their blood.
nothing stays hidden
and innocent victims don’t lie peacefully.
truth has a way of reaching through
earthen darkness towards the light of a new
day of reckoning.

© Rachel Ramkaran, 2021

This acrostic poem was written in memory of the 215 children who were found in an unmarked grave at the Kamloops Indian Residential school in Canada. …


Ryerson University is called to change its name in solidarity with Indigenous Canadians

A statue of Egerton Ryerson is on the ground. Behind it, its base is covered in graffitti that says, “Dig them up” and more. The base of the statue is surrounded in children’s shoes to commemorate 215 Indigenous children found buried in an unmarked mass grave at the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Photo Credit, with permission: Joshua Best; The toppled statue of Egerton Ryerson in Toronto

On June 6, 2021, a group of Indigenous activists and allies in Toronto successfully toppled a statue of Egerton Ryerson, beheaded it, and cathartically cast its remains into Lake Ontario.

The statue was a monument to a Methodist minister who was influential in establishing the racist, white supremacist Indian residential school system in Canada — a system that separated Indigenous families, stripped people of their cultures, and abused children. …


A blue sky with white, fluffy clouds is seen through a canopy of trees.
A blue sky with white, fluffy clouds is seen through a canopy of trees.
Photo courtesy of the author; a view of the sky through a canopy of trees.

A grounded perspective


A poem about how sorrow recreates you

A sad person with their hand to their face, stylized with paint.
Licensed from LUMEZIA.com, Adobe Stock

Grief draws lines on your face.
Softly at first, like a rough tracing of a map —
faint enough to be rubbed away, leaving a ghost of an etching.
And with each new wave of despair and hopelessness,
those outlines get filled in, added to —
a chart of your journey through life, not necessarily time.

Grief tells stories in your eyes.
Complex and winding tales of the moments that hurt
you, the little joys that pulled you through.
They arise in the way you blink back tears and lower your gaze,
the way you squeeze your lids shut. …


A social studies assignment sparks tension between a seventh-grader and her parents

Licensed from Rui Vale de Sousa, Adobe Stock; hands holding a globe to the sky

Madison made her way clumsily from the garage towards the kitchen, her arms full of old newspapers, paint, and a dusty dodgeball.

“Dad, would it be okay for me to use this stuff for a school project?” She asked her father, Curtis, who was enjoying his morning coffee at the table.

“Let me see what you’ve got there,” he said.

Madison unloaded the junk on the kitchen table and Curtis put down his coffee to rifle through it. “Holy moly,” he mumbled. “These newspapers are old, eh? I guess we won’t have any use for them kiddo. You can go…

Rachel Ramkaran (she/her)

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