Gabriella Orfanides

Gabriella Orfanides Poetry Contest prize winner

The Pressure of Life

Fears pelt themselves
At the insides of my mind
Doubt casts its sinister shadow
On the interior of my soul

I look. I listen
I see their faces. I hear their words
I try to make their wishes come true
Their dreams actuality
Their fanciful hopes mine

Yet they never seem to hear me
My hopes
My whispers
My cries

They can’t see
The uncertainty in my gait
Or the quiver of my lips
My pale, expressionless façade

You’re getting older
They say
You’re going to do great things
They say
You’ll be somebody
Oh! What if I never am
What will I be?

Why is it always me versus them
They versus me
Never us
Or we

The fears prevail
The doubt flourishes
Uncertainty swells
The gap will be bridged someday.

The fears of now worry me
And pain my aching mind
And very young

The Quiet Ones

A man yells
A baby cries
Dogs bark
Cats meow
Telephones ring
Cars whir
Trains whistle

Silence never prevails
Over the necessity of sound

Watch the quiet ones, though
They have a way about them

They hear things others don’t
See things others don’t
Feel things others don’t

Their minds are so in sync
(It tends to scare some)
These folks (you know—the quiet ones)
They have a way of just understanding

They know a wife better than a husband does
See a child the way a mama can’t

Those quiet ones are powerful
You see, they have the power to listen
Not worried at all about saying things
(Talking is so overrated)

Listening is really just a paperweight
It tends to keep things grounded, secure
In place and proper
Paperweights are simple; yet they work
Like listening

Listen (do you see yet?)
Watch out for the quiet ones
The people you disregard
And name empty names
And never take seriously

They’ll sneak up on you
(quietly of course)
And leave a potent taste in your mouth
Like sour milk
Yet unlike sour milk
You won’t know what to think

Waking on a Summer Morning
Darkness. Light
An experience with no purpose or meaning
Soon to be forgotten

Then awake. Awake to the glaring sun
The glistening of morning dew
A little bird and its melodious cry
Not a care in the world

Senses comes together
Thoughts begin the process of tedious formulation.
Appendages tingle and wake
Yet that tingling eventually ceases

Pots clang in the kitchen
Dishes clank
Water pitter patters the steel sink
The oven sounds its warning cry
And the sweet smell of strawberry
Wafts through the hallways
Filling each and every crevice
With the unexplainable emotions of scent

Darkness again. Then light
Panic at 6:59
And a relaxation of muscles at 7:01
No wailing siren

Life and its uncertainty
They’re never too far away
Following us in every hope
Waking hour

Summer mornings
Taken for granted by many
Appreciated by few
Never really noticed until life starts.