Secret Cove


All of the poems and stories that follow are my own. This little secret cove is just the place to record poetic thoughts. (All images are from Pixabay.) Come back again sometime! I update this page when a poem is begging to be written, or when I want to share an old piece I had written. 



038. Listen

You hear what you want to hear. The words I speak come out as un-truths, like filters on a photograph. You edit out the words that don’t make sense, that are real, that are true, until what’s left of the story is a version that you want to hear — one that attacks you, one that puts you at a disadvantage, one that makes you feel like a victim when in fact you are. I am the victim.


037. we fit

as always
as expected,

we fall
into place
we fall into each other
‘s arms

we fall
in love



036. Blue Mosaic Table

There is something calming about putting little pieces together.

Perhaps it is the thought, the act of giving form to the broken.

A jagged piece. Unpartnered. Set side by side a perfectly square turquoise tile.

Neither looks wrong when put together. Like they just jive.

You fill up the table with more mismatched shapes, flatten them out, make sure nobody’s sticking out.

Jagged pieces all equally flat and beautiful.

It would be nice to put the little pieces together.

A puzzle of blue tiles under the afternoon sky.

No chronological order. No 1-2-3’s.

And they all still fit.



036. Grey

i remember his eyes

like the color of the walls that morning
when the curtains were still drawn
when half the world was still asleep
and dreaming

in grey
it is a silent film
that plays, replays and pauses at that scene
when he grabbed hold of my wrist
and silenced me with a sneer and a pistol
that was

he pushed me down the stairs
i couldn’t see at all but i could hear
the whimper of a girl
the cry of another
the slice of a knife through sheets of blue and

his spirit was, his anger was
neither black nor white, he struggled
betweem wrong and right but grey emerged the winner
the shade of the undecided,
the uninvited
they are

the walls were dark, a shadow’s playground
and silence had a color.
that morning, the sky was


i still remember his eyes.


035. Lips

My lips
they are made for
sweet secrets,

but they cannot
nor speak nor sigh
nor shout nor cry nor tell you why
and how and where and when
and they just
locked surrender.


034. Exits on tiptoes

Maybe I should take things out
one by one
until the slate is clean again

And then I’d leave
and nobody


033. Comfort

A scratch on the butt upon waking up.
A kiss on the belly button after a heavy meal.
A nuzzling moment in the cab ride home.
A hand to hold while the TV’s on.
An arm to hold on to when the airconditioning’s cold.
A scent on the nape that sends peace into my system.
A gaze before closing our eyes for the night.


032. For My Grandfather

I wrap my fingers around a string
Holding on to the memory of your smile.
Your laughter still rings in my head
Your booming voice still throbs in my heart.
I used to tell you I loved you,
A grin would break upon your face and
You’d pat me hard on the back.
I still feel the jolt of that pat.
The head of the table is now empty,
So is the living room chair no one dared sit on.
I will no longer see you waving goodbye to me
As I drive away from your home.
My fingers clasp the string more tightly
Remembering the warmth that emanated
From such a stern demeanor.
Only you could carry that off.
Words are tangled in my heart.
Nothing can capture the breadth of sentiment I have for you.
The memories are too many,
The memories are too few.
I will miss you deeply Wowo.
I let go of the string and watch my silver balloon
Soar into the sky
Finding it join many others of its kind.
They rise among the clouds,
Into the hands of little girls
Whose angelic voices only you can hear
Whose angelic voices sing your welcome.
I can no longer see you
nor the silver balloons.
But I rejoice in your peace.
I rejoice in your journey back home.


031. Educational TV

When my 3-year-old daughter said “Mom, your hotcakes are delicious. The flavors are clean and simple”, I knew we were watching too much Top Chef. It warmed my heart anyway.


030. Rouge again

I like my long hair. I like that it can hide the blush from my daydreams.


029. I couldn’t speak properly the first time

And now I’m looking for all sorts of excuses to see you again.


028. Tara

She wears yellow in her hair so the sun will always be on her shoulders.


027. Harold

Lived across my apartment.
Was literally five steps away.
Knocked on my door to ask for sugar.
Scared me because of his dirty unshaven look.
Stepped away with no sugar and an annoyed look from me.
Laughed when I said sorry days later.
Knocked on my door for sugar. Again.
Smiled when he got ten sachets of Splenda.
Held up cupcakes when I opened the door.
Became my morning jogging companion.
Held my hand when I got shaken up over some news.
Shared my once-solitary bookstore afternoons.
Took me to his once-solitary food haunts.
Became my best friend.

Till autumn came. Then Harold

Stood still at the steps of our apartment building.
Stuttered as he looked at his restless hands.
Told me how the past half year had been good.
Shared how it all began with the denial for sugar.
Whispered sweet, sincere somethings.
Quieted as the streets became void of people.
Kissed me for the first time.
Laughed when I answered his question.
Squeezed my hand as we went up the stairs.
Then baked me eight cupcakes with one letter each (figure it out).


026. At the train station

I saw you with the brown bag and the baguette sticking out, like in the movies.

Seriously, isn’t that unsanitary?

You looked serious staring out the window. Maybe you were planning a recipe. Maybe that’s what the brown bag is filled with — ingredients for a damn good dinner you’re preparing.

You probably go home to an empty apartment. You’d climb the stairs, four flights, then unlock the door with a rusty apartment key. Then you’d place the brown bag on your wooden dining table, hang your coat, take a quick shower, and start cooking.

I sneak a look at your hands. Your fingers are long and well, sturdy could be a word to describe them. You must be a good cook. And your hands are very masculine.

No wedding ring.

The train stops and commuters rush in, blocking my view of you and your brown bag with the baguette sticking out, like in the movies. You stand and make room for a pregnant lady, who smiles gratefully at you with just a little hint of flirting. You smile back. Damn I wish I were that pregnant woman.

So anyway you’d get to cooking and your apartment would smell of herbs, spices and a fantastic roast. The doorbell would ring, you’d wipe your hands on a dish towel and open the door. Your girlfriend’s home and you share a scrumptious dinner made more delicious by the fact that you prepared them. The baguette would have been sliced by the way to sop up the out-of-this world tomato soup you would have prepared. From scratch.

The train stops again and I see you make your way to the door. I step out after you and follow you up the steps, on to the street. I watch you look left and right as if navigating a map in your head. Then you move forward. I hang back.

I watch you walk away carrying that brown bag with the baguette sticking out, just like in the movies. I watch you till I don’t see you anymore.

Yesterday you carried nothing. The other day you carried a brown bag with Chinese takeout. I wonder what you’ll be holding in your hands tomorrow.



025. Ned’s Hands

His fingers grazed mine till we were interlocked in touches and kisses.

His fingers grazed my neck till we were overcome with heavy breathing.

His fingers grazed my wrist till we were hidden behind crowds.

His fingers grazed my shoulders till we were static as the world moved on.

His fingers grazed my neck till we were unbreathing, unseeing, unliving.

His hands no longer stifle
but the prints
are still there.


024. I wrote you a poem but…

I wrote you a poem
but I lost my way through the words.

I was either grappling
for the right word with the right meaning
or stuck reminiscing
rekindling the feeling behind the words that
I got lost again in daydreams.

I wrote you a poem
in my head, I had the words
but they wouldn’t flow well or didn’t sound the way
I wanted them to sound – sweet, romantic.

Instead they came in tumbles and jumbles
random senselessness connected in the emotions that
made them flutter and fly
back to my daydreams and that is why

I wrote you a poem
but then I lost my way.


023. Midnight

“You want to watch a last full show movie?”

I don’t know. The question was so simple, but the fact that it came out of nowhere sent shivers down my spine.

I’m still smiling.


022. Heartbreak in a dial tone

You called.
I was in cab, on my way to a meeting, thinking about dinner when you called.
I am back, you said.
You sound great, I replied.
I’ll unpack, you said.
Okay, I replied.

You called again.
I was at the gym, you picked me up, opening the car door for me.
You look great, you said.
You look the same, I replied.
Dinner, you asked.
Dinner, I replied.

You called again.
I was in red, we went for coffee, you kissed me on the lips.
You taste the same, you said.
I don’t remember if you do, I replied.
I’ll make you, you said.
Try, I replied.

You called.
I was in my bedroom, remembering, reliving, when you called.
I’m so happy, you said.
So am I, I replied.
I’m getting married, you said.
I fell of the bed.

You never called.
I was bathed in yellow, sobbing, then walking, running.
I don’t understand you, your text said.
No, you don’t, I replied.
What’s the matter?, you asked.
April showers, I replied.

You never called.
I wallowed, then lived, then lived some more.
“Goodbye,” you never said.
“Goodbye,” I could have replied.
“Sorry,” you could have said.
“Thank you,” I could have replied.

It’s only now I understand your purpose,
only now I understand the heartbreak.

Only now.

Six years after.

Six years since
you called.


021. Vertigo

Just when I thought it wouldn’t hurt anymore,
my heart
little pieces
and I wince at the pain
and the hopelessness.

And then I try to pick up the pieces
and put

I hope it holds next time.


020. Tricks

his elbow touched mine
and i
pulled away

for minutes
it was flesh on flesh
dark on light

eyes locked
lips whispering

i can still remember
being pulled away

and so it remained
like magic
under wraps.


019. Remembering

dark green was your shirt when first we met,
pink were your lips
red the scent you left
the silk that slipped unsteadily.

violet was the passion-filled silence,
a moist humid midnight blue, the quiet broken.
yellow was hope when love was spoken,
black was denial, refusal; enough.

white were the stories of mending
a bloody red the flame rekindled.
orange was the evening of loneliness amplified
a deep red wine the absent resolution.

gold and silver were the years that came,
apricot, rose and lime accents of a cream satisfaction.


dark green was your shirt when first we met, and
pink were your lips.
grey the questioning core of pastels,
midnight blue the secret in the shadows.



018. Romantic Whispers

Successfully evading paparazzi
Popcorn and a DVD
Holding hands in our sleep
Practical jokes and hearty laughter
Quality alone time
Quality together time
This ride is going well.

Here’s to more quiet walks together while the snowflakes caress our faces.


017. Leo

It is widely known that we are fierce
and regal

It is said our mane is our pride
a manifestation of grace
and power.

Why then do I tie it back?
Why then do I stay in shadows?
Why then do I have a kinship with the stars and not the sun?

My carriage is strong,
I walk with purpose,
but the steps I take are far behind the others
(I do not want to race them.)

The others wonder why I do not seize prey
why aggressiveness is absent.
They wonder why I do not roar
and sharpen claws the way they do.

They do not bother me.

They do not know that the fierce too, can be quiet,



016. but patience is a virtue!

I know you like me so just say it already.


015. Fade Out

I don’t really do well in office parties. The atmosphere’s almost always constrained. I pretty much fade into the blood red walls of the bar.

Just when I thought I was about to pass out from too much solitary martini drinking, John came up to me and asked if I was okay. Did I look like I was not okay?, I asked him, a weird smile spreading across my face. It was done in a suggestive AND involuntary manner. Damn alcohol.

He took the seat beside me. We just stared at the dancing crowd in silence. For 20 minutes. Just John, my martini, his beer, the awkward silence and me. Or is it “and I?”

When I knew my ball gown was about to turn back into rags, I stood up. I’ll see you tomorrow, I said. He smiled and nodded.

The midnight wind made my coat flap around a little bit. As I got into a cab, I peeked into the bar. John was still seated, nodding his head to the music. He was about to fade into the blood red walls, but then he caught me looking. He tipped an imaginary hat and smiled. I smiled back. Then the cab lurched forward, the streets became a blur. Then I faded into the hollow black walls of the night.


014. Good Night

The truth is in the cradling.

There are no lies that lie between us
when your arms wrap around me,
protect me,
envelop me in a blanket
of peace, security.

No words are needed, just your strong arms
and my head on your chest
I drop pretenses and nestle tight against you
leaving no room for doubt.

The skeptic in me shrinks in shame
and I know it is right, it is fine,
it will all be fine
because no lies can traverse the comfort
of myself in your arms
the apologetic sincerity in your embrace.

The cradle says and silences it all.


013. (Hey, um, thanks.)

I caught you looking.
It felt nice.

There was talk (it came in extra-small),
There were awkward silences (fill it up quickly).
There was hanging out (but not for too long).

What do I say? Can you say something?
“Um, that’s an interesting… pen.”
“Yes, um, it doesn’t skip at all.”

Waves goodbye.

It felt nice.
Not tingly, lusty, dirty nice,
Just feel-good, friendly, calming nice.

And when you weren’t looking,
I smiled a small, shy and genuine, genuine, genuine smile.

It’s been ages.

And it felt nice.

(I wonder when I’ll catch you looking again.)


012. Us

In the end,
just as it was in the beginning,

I choose you.


011. Curtain Call

I’m tired of dancing around you
on tiptoes and quiet arabesques.
I’m exhausted from watching you,
from deciphering your eyes, your smile.

It is too heavy, heavy, not understanding,
not knowing why you function so,
why you function so.

My chest is full, my eyes shut tight,
this dance, with you, for you, is done.

Your audience, they applaud you,
but they too whisper behind your back
and you can hear them; I know that,
but you ignore the whispers
and get lost in your reverie.

It doesn’t matter if you kick and hit those
in the way, in your way,
they don’t matter to you, do they?

Just as I don’t, perhaps.
I’ve let you lead.
I’ve led you when you asked me to.
But this dance, is not your dance alone.

Dance with me, your heart, your eyes, why don’t they?

I am tired.

My dancing, with you, around you,
it is done.



010. Between Skies

I’m trying to find excuses to kiss you, he said.

Sand, waves, the tension of flesh.

If only the moon had all the answers, if only tonight was all that mattered.


009. Today but in another place

He said, “It is not meant to be.” She said, “Since when did you have a crystal ball?” He said, “Can’t you see where this is going?” She said, “Can you?”

They were meant to stay together, but only for that moment. And so she danced towards daydreams, desire and delusion.

She never turned back (only in secret).


008. Starlit Whispers

close your eyes.

let me sing you a lullabye
of the quiet starlight
how it drizzles like rain

raindrops, stardrops

let the starlit melody
cradle you
take you to a world beyond

silver moons, sun beams

let my lips
touch your eyelids, ears,
stardust on ethereal flesh

tickle, twinkle

let us be quiet together.

now hush.
close your eyes.


007. Timing

I caught you looking at me again
when you thought I wasn’t looking.

You caught me looking at you again
when I thought you weren’t looking.

But we haven’t caught each other
looking at (longing for)
each other

But we haven’t caught each other
holding each other’s (mirroring each other’s)

Our eyes
they hold all that is true.

we’re not ready to share our secrets


006. Submission

i used to feel your flesh on mine.
i lived for stolen midnights,
waking in the morning with sensual secrets.
time has left of our passion only embers.
my flesh, once flowing with the moonlight,
now lays aching,
refusing to believe that the nights are long gone,
that the only secrets left are the nights i lay beside you
longing for the elusive morning light that would ignite
what is now gone.


005. You told me I looked beautiful naked

Tell me the truth
If you could fly back home
and place that diamond necklace around my neck
would you still want me?

I have stood before you barefoot
walked on broken glass
so you could see me, all flesh,
all blood,
all of me for you, bare.

Will you tell me I’m beautiful
or would your eyes betray your thoughts
and leave me hanging
to pull the strings of truth from you.

My arms lay listless at my sides
barenaked arms, flesh,
marked not by your fingers
not by anyone as you have before.

Tell me the truth.
If I stand before you naked
will you still tell me I’m beautiful?
And if I am, in the eyes that betray your thoughts,
will you still
want me
as I


004. If I Had Moved Left

If I had moved left, would it have turned out differently?

If I had moved right, would I be where I am today?

Caught up in daydream illusions, I wander

Following the maze of memories and hindsight

Till I find myself smack at the center, found but more lost than ever.

I trace my steps backwards,

Reliving each memory the way it turned out

And I am right outside the maze, right at that point

When I chose to move forward. Not left. Not right.

(But sometimes the mind drifts, and it wanders, and it moves along the maze,

wondering what would have happened

if I had moved left.)


003. Glimpses of a Borrowed Life

They flash at random moments.

Pulling up into a driveway, reminiscent of a 1970s home

Standing in a kitchen, in an apron, hair 50s style (I feel the warmth of the sun streaming through the kitchen windows.)

There are times when they just flash and I wonder:

Have I lived this life before?

It comes in the most random of moments

And now I wonder if past lives are trying to tell me something

Am I supposed to decode, to crack

a mystery

perhaps of living better, living more secure

or to be simply grateful for this new life at this moment in this century at this moment in this car on this street at this very very very moment

I feel the sun’s rays warming my skin

I open my eyes wide, wider, and I see the city before me

Modern, green, alive

And I am thrown back to this very moment and I tell myself

I am here.

This is the life.

Today is what matters.

(The past lives go back into the shadows of my mind.

But I know they’re there.)


002. Turquoise Waters, Sandy Whispers

Sitting in the quiet, by the ocean
Feet on the sand
Hands wrapped around a warm mug of coffee
The waves dance before me
Quietly crashing over each other, lulling me
into a calm, peaceful start to my day
There is grass jutting out of the sand
They tickle my feet
Pink toenails against sandy earth
I feel connected
I feel we are ONE.
The sun’s beginning to rise.
I gently lift the knitted blanket from my shoulders
Stand upon the steps of our home
And make my way inside.
Time to wake up the boys.


001. Welcome

This is a secret place
a sacred place
for poetry and quiet thoughts.
Like a secret cove in a beach
where lovers meet, clandestine,
and children pay pretend
(it’s a ship! no! it’s a cave from the Dinosaurs’ time!)

It is the place for going barefoot
The place where quiet is queen and
giggles are a close second (ladies-in-waiting)

It is a place where tears can be shed
where promises are kept
where things will be all right.

It is a place for rejuvenation.
For LIFE. A quiet, calm, serene life.

You can come here alone, or with a friend or two.
But remember, it is a place of escape
(By invitation only)

Your secrets are safe with me, with the cove,
Whisper them into the lapping of the waves,
the flight of the sea breeze.
You will be heard. The answers,
they come in secrets.

But if you’re still enough, they can be heard.

is a place of quiet.

6 Comments on Secret Cove

    • Toni
      February 22, 2015 at 1:35 am (8 years ago)

      Thank you Grech! Share your favorite poetry here too! :)

    • Toni
      February 22, 2015 at 1:34 am (8 years ago)

      Thank you, Nadia, for visiting the secret cove. 😉 Feel free to share your reflections here too. Would love to have a chat with you soon!

    • Toni
      August 20, 2015 at 11:19 pm (7 years ago)

      A quiet, quiet cove. :)


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