When space is silence…

Words, sounds, and space…


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Youth and forgiveness

A car drive — a long time ago. That feeling of death around me, of tears that do not want to leave my eyes, of emptiness. Numbness, youth, and a highway. A relationship died and I went for a ride. A relationship died because I called it off. I returned the ring, destroyed the dream. The stereo played the CDs that we adored. “Don’t you cry” came next. A tear slid down my cheek, followed by tears showcasing the sadness of hurting him, while hurting me. Don’t cry! — I insisted as if my voice would stop my emotions, my despair.     A young love ended and marked our separate destinies. I moved far away — a thousand kilometres north. We did not talk for three years, until that night. The night we both cried. Our paths had changed… He bought a red rose for me. We hugged while our tears blended into a single sorrow. We forgave each other, we forgave ourselves. We kissed good-bye and parted ways. I wish him well, he did the same. That is when I knew it was really over.     I smile when I remember the magic of our love and youth. I can almost cry when I remember that part at the end. The passion and the despair. The tenderness, the promise, the impulsiveness, the confusion, the separation, the broken fairy tale. An innocent love that now lives forever, immaculate, as in a dreamlike world in our memories. We do not talk anymore. There is no need — the innocence of the memory remains pristine. We did well. Perhaps the tears taught us something. Perhaps it was our destiny to be happy in each others absence.

Eternal innocence — late
spring memory of a tear
Forgiveness and two paths


_____Adriana Citlali
II-V-MMXVII

Haibun Monday: Tramps like us were born to survive… | dVerse

Today at dVerse, we are writing classic haibuns about singing along with music while driving. I haven’t been driving for a while, so I played some music (old favourites) and looked into my memory box. I found that first love story, that first closure. A past that makes me smile, a past that makes my heart remember bliss and ache as if they could blend into a single feeling.


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Then you blinked

Usually you have that diamond brightness on your left eye. Often I have the mystery that makes you uneasy. Or is it the other way around?

Occasionally, fog surrounds us, removing all except for that mysterious diamond. Then you blink. Then I doubt. Or we kiss and forget. Just… We don’t really forget; we wait.

But that November night, you became the person who scares me. The sparkle turned wicked –or so I thought.

Today I told you all –but you can’t know. Today I was the girl who shares her world in a silent conversation. I wonder if I hurt you.

Winter, under dark
northern sky –I walk alone.
No sun, no rainbow.


_____Adriana Citlali
XXIII-I-MMXVII

Haibun Monday #29 | dVerse


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A path to freedom

From left to right: Marina Nemat, Kimberley Motley, and Irwin Cotler. Panel discussion on Women and the Law at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum. © Adriana Citlali Ramírez 2016

From left to right: Marina Nemat, Kimberley Motley, and Irwin Cotler. Panel discussion on Women and the Law at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum.
© Adriana Citlali Ramírez 2016


It is Ayatollah Khomeini’s early days. Marina Nemat is only 16 when they arrest her, after leading a strike in high school. Sent to prison, she is tortured, and sentenced to death. The sentence is then changed for life imprisonment. The payment is to marry her interrogator, lose her catholic faith (become muslim), lose her name, her body, extend the pain. She has no option, refusing means jail or even death to her family and boyfriend. She endures. Days pass by. She requests solitary confinement. She can not look other prisoners directly into their eyes. She is sleeping with her interrogator! Being raped by her interrogator, to be more precise. She feels guilt of having been saved when her friends were killed. She feels embarrassed. She is sinking, only the goodness of few saves her spirits –there’s a birthday cake one day, for her, made of pieces of bread (saved during several days). Time continuous its path, she endures. The interrogator dies. His family helps her. She is released. Her family rejects her… She mentions the word dishonour, and I can only question the pervasive blindness of so many humans.

Marina tells the story with a calm rhythm that contrasts with the brutality of her experience. Marina’s face shows pain, her eyes project the sadness of telling and reliving memories. She says she gave up saving the world long time ago. She now keeps her expectations real. She is part of the panel discussion Women and the Law, organised by the Oslo Freedom Forum 2016. Janine di Giovanni moderates the panel. Kimberley Motley and Irwin Cotler share their experience advocating for human rights in troubled countries, in a troubled world. Kim mentions the dilemma of releasing a woman from prison to send her to prison –her home or a shelter. Kim, as Marina, tries to be realistic. She brings awareness to her clients, represents their interests, works to meet the goal they want. Irwin questions the red line, the times the world has said “never again” (to genocide, for example), and how that red line transmutes into pink advice. He speaks with reality in his words: “we cannot save all political and conscience prisoners, but we need to let them know that we are trying”. A member of the audience questions how much the ICC is really doing; another asks how to get our “human rights” voice passed the Kardashians and US politics. Kim states that it is not only about fighting for a cause, one has to sell it. “Do not lose faith” says Janine. Marina adds that initiating change does not have to be complex: “If 10 small voices speak up and influence to save one person, I am happy!”. Advocacy is much easier today than 20 years ago: it is one click away through social media and the internet. Marina closes the panel with a poem.

I shake Marina’s hand. I try to convey the overwhelming feeling of admiration her words inspired in me. We talk about poetry and blogs. She says how writing poetry is therapy for her, how the process soothes and recharges her. I echo her words, with a smile. With not even a close comparison to Marina’s life experience, her humanity and her way of freeing her mind make me relate to her in a new way. Writing poetry is what keeps me sane through the worst and best of times.

In awe
the skies of Oslo cry
— words show the path


_____Adriana Citlali
XXIII-V-MMXVI
IX-V-MMXVI

© Adriana Citlali Ramírez 2016

Janine di Giovanni moderating the panel Women and the Law at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum
© Adriana Citlali Ramírez 2016

Inspired by the real-life heroes, speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2016. In response to Again, what do you do to truly rest and relax? –question asked by Toni Spencer today at Haibun Monday #14 – “Too Many Mind…” | dVerse. A Haibun is a text composed with a combination of relatively short prose and a haiku.


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Did I?

I remembered you red, crimson red, with blue eyes, dark suit. A glare burnt into forced amnesia. A flare that lingered through the fall. Forbidden faint memories, triggered by the echo of my voice —I don’t need you. You don’t need me.    

I saw you after the storm yesterday. Did you say hello? Did I? Your silver eyes smiled, like a secret sparkle. You changed. Did I?    

Winter blossom, scarlet flower.    
So late.   Oh!   So early.
Will you survive this snow storm?


_____Adriana Citlali
XII-I-MMXVI


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Just a few seconds

Amelia felt confused for just a few seconds. The confusion led to fear, fear to sadness.
She was sad about the possibility of a past event. An event that might had happened without her knowing until now. But if it did happen … decisions should have been different. Maybe the pain would have been reduced. Is it possible that she made such a big mistake as a consequence of ignorance? The hint was the purple feather that was left at her front door by … By who? –she wondered.

Ghost at the door
Anxiety
             Forgotten feelings
A purple feather flies away

Did it happen?

_____Adriana Citlali
II-VI-MMXIV

For this month’s Open Link Night, I decided to try my own version of the haibun, combining prose with a short free verse poem.