Photo by Thư Anh on Unsplash

hope is this ladder you build for yourself
as you’re climbing it into heaven / every
rung is a bone pulled from your own
spine / so delicate that a strong wind
could send you toppling into hell / hope
is too much for me / sometimes the more
I climb the more I lose track of what I
am like as a person / I start to forget
my insecurity / but at times like these
when the sun sets at just the right angle
the light bends around the ivories and
shows the words I carved in bloom /
just a litany of self-reflective pities /
at a certain point off the ground
I cannot remember where it was
that I had wanted to climb to / because
all people are pitiful in that way / stuck
in the motion of moving upward towards
a bigger plot in the world’s cemetery / I
want so much out of this life / I want to
be loved / to love / I want to be happy /
I want to go beyond everything I’ve ever
experienced / I want to keep on going /
I want to live / I do not want to die /
I can say these things now / because
to reaffirm my self / I have to build
the ladder / bit by bit / but sometimes
I forget / and I put in the brittle /
mixed with the firm / and I only
remember when I take a step /
to find that I tread on air / hope is
this dangerous thing for a person
like me / lana couldn’t say it well
enough / but I think she too was
building the ladder / tyler climbed
it too / to where I’m not sure / but
he does look happier now / I’m not
sure if I can make it without dying /
I mean who is / and that itself
scares me half to death / I want
to be happy so badly / I find the
ladder sways from time to time

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

Filed under: Freewriting, Poetry


A member of Singapore-based writing collective /stop@BadEndRhymes ("/s@ber"), Valen dwells in the swamp of poetry. He has been published in various publications, including Anxious Poets Society, Eunoia Review and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. He has performed his work at the Arts House, the Singapore Art Museum, and in various dingy bars.

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