A black-and-white lined background for poems that are all about shades of gray and indirect paths


They are the voices you hear in the morning

And the last you hear at night

No matter where you are they are always in your heart

Like they say, home is where the heart is but that’s wrong

My home is my family which is where my heart is every day

Live, laugh, love, they are the ones

Who brought out those feelings

Letting you discover it in you

My family how much I love them? So much.

Because of them I learnt the meaning of life,

The meaning of cherish

Thank you for making me who I am today.

Friend, boyfriend, girlfriend—

They all end with the word “end.”

But family ends with “i-l-y” which stands for I love you.

Family is what teaches you how

To find forgiveness in each other,

Pride, integrity, compassion, faith,

And most importantly, love.

Family is where the heart is.


So tell me this

If I am green

And you are blue

Is the world black and white

Is there gray

Are the lines blurred

Is turquoise the nightmare of your fantasy dreams


If you could see beneath my green facade

Would you be appalled by what you find

A heart not of green nor blue

Simply put you are not me and I am not you

Blue is to green like birds are to bats

They both sail the sea of the sky

They both live

They breathe

They die

But all you see are feathers and skin

All you see is green and blue

Green is a colour too

Can you not see how blue, green and turquoise

Are all very alike

If I am grass and you are the ocean

We must not forget about the turquoise sky

Not all blindly be water

For I fear we would all drown in the oceans of blue

never simply pretty

When I was young I asked my mother,

"Will I be pretty?" "Will I be pretty?"

Because there is a question that invites all of us

Through the ripples of family and the tides

—Or perhaps more like tsunamis—of the media.

"Will I be loved? Or will I be wanted?"

And you know what my mother told me?

"Yes, yes, you will one day be pretty."

And when puberty smacked down,

Hit my skin, covered in acne,

I started gaining weight and losing it

By more than just exercise

But this is not about me.

This is about the teenage girls

Who wander through store after store

Looking for the perfect dress

But they haven't an idea how to wear joy.

This is about the people stumbling through

This tornado we call life confined in their narrow minds, Never deciphering how to wear satisfaction.

This is about the child I will have one day.

This is about the day when my 13-year old daughter

Comes up to me and asks, "Will I be pretty?"

To which I will bluntly say, "No."

"You might be pretty smart or pretty athletic or

Pretty wonderful or even pretty creative

But darling, you will never be simply pretty."

living as one

The world is crumbling

People are stumbling, fumbling, tumbling

Watching their deepest desires melt into

A sea of never going to happen

Their broken hearts bleed the blues

Staining the water with hopelessness and sorrow

They look up to us hoping to find a brighter tomorrow


But they don’t realize we’re running out of time

We’re starting to lose rhyme

The clock of yesterday has caught up

With the shadows of tomorrow

They live in a world where happiness is only to borrow

They have to give it back

It expires and turns cold

Breaks apart becomes old


Spinning round and round

On the everlasting journey of their ambition

Creating a new sunrise, their mission

Smiles thrown as if it was a ball

Bouncing to anyone at all

Enlightened hearts sing profound melodies

Retelling tales of those who could imagine

The world dark, duller

Splashing hopes to bring in colour


But the tears of the future are falling

Calling out to whoever will stay silent

Enough to hear them pound the pavement

With a thump, thump, thump


The raindrops of their depression

Fall into a perfect sync with their happy heartbeats

Leaving the impression that no matter where you are in life

Enthusiastic, sad, tiresome, glad

We are all living

if i were up at a pulpit

If I were up at a pulpit, just saying whatever I wanted to

I wouldn’t tell you lies but rather the truth

What I want, what I know, what I believe

Namely, I wouldn’t tell you to hope

For your prince charming to take you away on his stead

But rather to hope you can make a

Difference In your own life

And in the lives of the people around you

And to hope you get what is coming to you, no surprises

On that pulpit I wouldn’t tell you to find world peace

Or solve world hunger but rather make peace where you are

And solve the problems that bother you

I wouldn’t tell you to be fearless and show only courage

But I would instead tell you to be smart in what you fear

And be courageous for a purpose

I wouldn’t tell you to be a saint

And show mercy wherever you walk to everyone

But rather be the friend that select people

Can count on for moral support

I would not tell you to obey the law, do good or be just

But rather satisfy your curiosity, and try new things

That your government’s laws might not accept

Because they haven’t tried it

I would not tell you to strive and obtain

Your goals and learn good morals

But instead I’d tell you to try your hardest no matter what

And defy what others tell you is right or wrong

But this is all if I was up at a pulpit

I’m just trying to be honest, telling you the truth

Just telling you what I want, what I know, what I believe

But that is only if I was up at a pulpit

this is me


As meaningless as paper to throw out

Or meaningless they said as a crowd

Not enough definition

What more do you want me to define?

This is me

This is mine

Maybe not as good as she

Maybe not as good as you see

You’re not going anywhere

But I don’t want to be over there

So they kept me there to hide

Those countless nights of prayers?

That the crowd wouldn’t trade me

Soon enough I had gotten the help I needed

Weeks after I got through

It was completed

They come back saying

“I was always here”

But I see that

The amount of truth you have

Is so sheer

what i value the most

In my life I used to think

I could only trust me

I don’t recommend it

It can get lonely

All those days you spend alone

Just throwing away your phone

Those cold nights on the floor

And yes I’ve been there before

So one day I asked

What do I value the most

Not those materialistic things

That society brings

Tricking us with their ways

Foolin' us like we’re crazed

I’m done with that phase

I’m not longer their slave

No longer ashamed

The only thing I need

Is my family and friends

Something I do recommend

Cuz they’ll help you to the end

Making you stronger

Making you prouder

Shaking you from being paralyzed

Awaken you from all the lies

And help you realize

The real you, you are inside

in times of trouble

Hope. It’s a small world but it’s huge in meaning.

Hope. It’s the building of a mountain,

It’s the growth of a flower.

Hope. It’s the inspiration for tomorrow,

It’s the force that keeps us going in times of trouble.

Hope. It’s the white of the black.

Hope. It’s a clear path through the mud.

Hope. It’s reaching up and grasping positivity.

It’s throwing down negativity.

Hope. It’s universally in every culture, every human.

Hope. It’s what every child, teen, adult and senior can have.

Hope. It’s seeking the truth of the lies.

Hope. It’s the trunk for the tree.

When you think it can’t get any worse,

There is always hope.

It’s water. It will always be there.

Just find it. It’s free!

because we are

who we are


We all remember those wonderful kindergarten years,

When our imagination stretched across the equator,

And when our dreams were bigger than the universe.

The only things that we worried about,

Were the crayons in our pencil cases

and the stuffed animals on our beds.


I grew up in a small neighbourhood,

And I came home every day to a loving family.


Growing up in elementary school,

I soon realized that short kids

Weren’t passed to in basketball games.

I was taunted and teased day after wretched day

About my height,

And how I will never shoot a 3-pointer.

They were wrong.


I realized that if you weren’t in the cool group,

Nah, you were never invited to the sleepovers.

They way you think, look and what you wear,

Define who you are!

And not by whom you really are inside.


And keep in mind,

That these are 10, 11, and 12 year olds,

Trying to fit in by changing themselves,

To feel accepted into a society

That is made up of people just like them.


Because the last thing that came to my mind at night,

Before the clutches of my dreams pulled me down,

Was I wondered what was wrong with me.


The mouths of society have such a big impact on a child’s life,

That being their real selves is the last thing

That crosses their minds.

And when I did what I wanted to do,

And when I followed what I believed,

I can still hear those whispers behind my back.

Scarring my heart to this day.


What I’m really trying to say is that no matter

How hard life and society hits you in the stomach,

By staying true to yourself and being yourself,

You will always come out of this on top.

Realizing that you sure are grateful for who you really are.


All of us are different, unique, and special

In our own little way,

Because we are who we are.

everything will

always be okay


One day I found myself unexpectedly thrown into a deep dark hole with rats constantly nipping at my sides. My mind said there is no exit, but my heart knew what with an entrance there was to be an escape… right? Everything will be okay, my mother would say. Everything will always be okay, I found myself repeating day in and day out. Finally I saw my escape. I held on and made my way out. Just as I thought it was over it knocked me down and punched and kicked me, until it thought I could never walk again, but to its surprise I stood and did I ever stand tall. I walked away with a limp and some scars but I walked. Never to look back except for a split second where I saw what I was and what I have become. What didn’t kill me really did make me stronger. I smiled and continued my journey. Knowing full well that everything is and forever will be okay.


the essence of life

Family is the essence of life

The food for heads and souls

It brightens my day and guides me

On the darkest moments.

Walking the distance without my family is hard and long

But miles would feel like a beautiful summer walk

When Mom or Dad hold my hand

I treasure my family in my mind and heart

And I pray not to be apart

My mom’s heart holds my world, beats inside my chest

And bleeds if I’m hurt.

My father’s hands shovel my pain, lift my spirit

And give me strength.

My young homie with his smiling face looks up to me

And to show how much I mean to him he’d bravely say

“I love you more than all my toys.”

Keep my family safe and forever and ever,

Keep them there for me.

me? little fish?

Broad blue Bohai Seas was my cradle

For some reason, in my hometown

Life was hard to handle

Everything seemed to be falling down

Change; need a change

With deciding to go away

I know my thought would never sway

If you ask me who I am

A little fish from sea

I would say


It took me days to reach the Pacific Ocean

Fortunately I got a ship ride form some making

Since then, my new journey is on the way


Vast dark blue Pacific Ocean is my second-home

Blending in the society is my main life rhythm

I seek every chance

Not even miss a glance

As the king of forest, lion, looking for prey

But, I am not—I am not a king in the Sea

To disguise myself as one, one of them

Mask is my necessary accessory

Make-up is a magic key

Under others’ roof

Whatever they say must be right without proof

If you ask me who I am

Merely a little fish at sea

I will say


I start asking

“Is life here easier to handle?”

No, I need a candle

To sting the darkness

Suddenly I realize

The candle is me

I am the candle

Beyond my mental range

Only myself can make a change

I grow up

You asked me who I was

“I hope I am a little fish”

I said


But why

Little fish is with family, living

Little keeps eyes open, sleeping

Little fish…

Most importantly

Little fish just owns a memory of 20 seconds

That’s all they have

That’s their whole world


I am the little fish.

i have one

They say family is always there for you;

Hungry? Mom turns on the oven;

Thirsty? Dad squeezes a lemon;

Tired? A freshly made bed ready to snug;

Perspired? Hot water fills the tub.

But what kind of family lies to your face?

Takes all your money, runs away,

Leaving you to chase them;

Family is supposed to embrace you,

With open arms, a caring heart,

And an open state of mind;

Family is supposed to accept you

For who you are

Not for what you aren’t

So why is it that my dad isn’t around,

guilts for love and lies to my mom;

Who calls me a monster for having other beliefs;

Or that my brother says I was found behind a dumpster,

As if the person who threw me away missed?

What kind of family is that?

I suppose I have none,

Which makes me an orphan;

But in the end, when I’m hungry,

My mom cooks my favourite dish;

Or when I’m thirsty my dad makes lemonade;

When I’m stuck, my sister helps me with my homework;

And when I’m bored, my brother takes me for a ride.

What family do I have?

I have one.

And that, in itself, if pretty special.


a life worth living

Life is extremely short. Old age isn’t guaranteed. Everything will get destroyed; Me, you, this school. We might as well make the best out of our time here. This life is yours. It’s about you. No one can live it except for you. Don’t waste time on anyone or anything that keeps you away from happiness.


Life is unfair. Us humans are brutal, cruel, rude. People will stomp over you, they’ll criticize you, judge you and more. We need to learn to move on. It’s hard to get over something. It’s the past and “you can either learn from it or run from it.”


People can lead us to having bad days, weeks, months, years and more. But a bad day or week or year doesn’t mean a bad life. It’s about how you handle it. I’m here to tell you that it does get better. I promise it does. And you need to be alive to see it.


Do not end your life. Having a bad time? Note that date down. Wipe away your tears and decide to change your outlook on everything. From now on, take every opportunity you get to be happy or to make others happy. Change yourself in a positive way. A year from now, you’ll be saying, “Wow, I cannot believe I have experienced these wonderful feelings. I went out of my comfort zone and now I’m feel like I’m on top of the world.” All that wouldn’t have happened if you chose to end your life a year back. There are many dangers in life, but it sure is beautiful. And if your life didn’t have ups and downs, you’d be dead. Even an electrocardiograph works that way. I have seen the best of you, and the worst of you, and I choose both.


Like Sarah K said, don’t be a worrier, be a warrier. Try to make each day count. We need to make a change. How do we do that? Contribution. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Imagine yourself making the world a better place by simply erasing some bad habits and staying positive. Yes, you can do that. You’re not worthless. You have something in you that will benefit everybody. Put it to use. So what if you’re only one person? You can change and affect the lives around you. Everybody comes into contact with many different people a day. It’s the little things that affect the world the most from a single person’s viewpoint. Look for and find the things in life that you can help others with and then find a way to offer your help. You can help someone battling depression, smile at a stranger, help the poor and more. The possibilities are endless. It can happen. Put yourself out there and work hard. See how useful you are? You’re important.


If you truly want something, and decide to make a change; the whole universe will try to get you what you desire. You’ll start with small steps and work your way there. But start today. Don’t procrastinate.


Whatever you are going to change, whether it’s the world, yourself, your outlook—don’t give up. Fall down, get back up. Things will get better. Try, try, try again.


Faith will be there when you need it most

Faith will be there as the holy ghost

Faith will be there to pick you up

Faith will be there just to say ’ssup?

Faith will be there when you’re sick

Faith will be there through the ick

Faith will be there in times of trouble

Faith will be there when you stumble

Faith will be there when you cry

Faith will be there when you die

Faith will be there as your friend

Faith will be there at your end

Click on the play buttons to hear the spoken word pieces

Check out more Brila spoken word

on SoundCloud!