The Wine Taster

You crushed me like grapes

when you kissed her in the vineyard…

Don’t you remember how our bond was fermented

by our nightly trysts in the cellar?

You grew on me,

Like yeast,

Consuming my sugar

Only to leave me bitter and drained,

Withdrawing your lips from me too soon,

Now I linger here like aftertaste,

Dissipating in life’s spittoon.

“Bold, Outgoing Workers Needed”

and what if I turned the world upside-down

to give myself a chance

for the working world to see the aptitude of my stance?

For words have always been pitted against us 

in “either” and “or”

you’re either confident and sturdy

or self-doubting, weak, unworthy…

They want you to be self-assured yet they steal your self

Telling you that being soft-spoken and reserved is a malady to be cured.

and you believe, why not, outside the comfort zones they chatter in success

and you focus on exorcising your demons the way you know best:

Medication, procrastination…merely entrails luring and feeding anxiety,

that lurking fear of being seen as offbeat in a chorused society.

In that down-upside no one seems to understand

that the reticence on your lips is not in your hands –

or in your mind which nurses a thousand stories and novelties ready to take their first steps and unfold

But they insist on shutting them down with eyes so coaled.

Offering no warmth of good faith in your fumbling fervour,

Eyes of pitying disapproval pushing you further

To withdraw, resent and smother

Your optimism, sense of direction and tacit conviction –

But let me be the judge of my own “affliction”

To say to myself, no pressure, I am who I am and who I am is not always who I will be.

Let me change without agitation, try on that loose-fitting tranquility.

Leg space enough to acknowledge that productivity might not follow the contours of every body the same.

 Whether I scream it from the mountain or whisper it, you will know my name.

So without ill feeling, I’ll scroll past those monotonous “Workers Needed” posts for introspection has given me the vision they scarcely had: