THE DARK BATTLE

The threadbare vessel
Struggles to contain
The surging emotions
Bulging and pulsating
Of anger and despair

Battle after battle
Against dark tendrils
That seeps and weaves
Overwhelming in its power
Suffocating in its hold

Threatening to consume
Wanting to destroy
Coaxing the ugly
Whisperings of shame
Swallowing silent screams

I fight these demons
That plagues my mind
And taints my soul
Alone in my quest
I pray for redemption

Copyright © 2021, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.


My mental health took a big hit during the start of the COVID pandemic. My anxiety was at an all time high and I was on the verge of spiralling into depression. I wrote this during those dark days when I was overwhelmed with fear and struggling with tough lockdowns. I’m in a better place now so please don’t worry about me.

This poem has been in my drafts for a long time because I was scared of revealing a vulnerable piece of me. But to the hell with it, this is me.

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I ENTERED A WRITING COMPETITION

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a tweet from SBS Voices inviting budding writers to submit their stories about growing up in a diverse Australia. There is a prize pool of $10,000 by writing a first person memoir of 1000-2000 words. Seeing that most of my blog posts are first person and memoir-ish in nature AND I grew up in Australia, I thought I’d give it a crack.

My first attempt turned into a scene from my childhood that had no real point to the story. I tossed that in the “Use as blog post if desperate” folder.

My second attempt also ended up as a scene from my childhood and it was just sad to read. I tossed that in the “Woe is me” folder. Otherwise known as the bin.

A seed of an idea crossed my mind, and I decided to call my parents to get clarity on some of the information.

“SBS? No. No. No. I don’t want anyone knowing about our past!” My mum didn’t want me to enter the competition. To be fair, she is afraid of her own shadow so her reaction wasn’t surprising.

“Why? Your childhood isn’t anything special!” My dad must have poor memory if he thinks our life was normal. It may not have been special or even unique but to me, it was worth writing about.

Anyway, with no help from my parents, I went back to the drawing board. I discovered that writing memoirs are not easy. I didn’t want to write a “This is my life” spiel, and I didn’t want to overwhelm the reader with negativity and sadness. I wanted to write a story about my life in a way that was raw, honest and uplifting.

I ended up twiddling my thumbs and staring at a blank screen for some time. I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know what I wanted to say. My mind was a jumbled mess of ideas that I struggled to organise in a coherent way. There were many events, factors and people who influenced my childhood and the person that I have become.

In the end, I decided to focus on my parent’s refugee experience and how their trauma of displacement and lack of social connection shaped who they became and how that influenced their parenting style. I wrote my experiences living with an angry dad and a broken mum. I wrote about moving from home and finding my sense of cultural identity and belonging. Interspersed among the heavy revelations were humorous glimpses of my past. It was a cathartic writing experience.

I submitted the memoir today. I don’t expect to win but if I did, I hope my parents will be proud.

If you want to check out the competition, here is the link. You still have a few days to get your writing in.

Copyright © 2020, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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MY ZANY FATHER

He works long hours

To make ends meet

Driving a beat-up wagon.

He wears dollar clothes

Worn and torn

Rocking the Goodwill fashion.

He loves a bargain

Cheaper the better

A Sunday Market tradition.

His raucous laughter

Uncensored words

Not bothered with reflection.

An open book

With a heart of gold

Raw emotions on his sleeve.

This imperfect man

I call my father

The best gift one could receive.

Copyright © 2020, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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Today is Father’s Day in Australia. I called my dear old dad this morning to wish him a happy Father’s Day, seeing that we couldn’t pop over to see him due to coronavirus lockdown.

Usually, we would have visited, enjoyed a family meal and the children and grandparents would have spent some time together.

My dad is struggling with this round of lockdowns. He spent a good hour complaining about my mum, his work, his boss, my brother… I think the dogs even got a mention!

For his benefit… and mine, I hope lockdown ends soon.

Happy Father’s Day! Especially to my wonderful husband. We appreciate you!