The Man in the Mirror
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
― Bernard M. Baruch
Stay in love,
because falling in love
has a million published guides.
Stay in love with yourself
because self-love stands by you
no matter what.
Look at yourself
like you would look at
You are broken,
bleeding with emotions
and that’s definitely not
a reason for you to not
and treat yourself
Let your chin
rest on your palm
to feel the warmth
of your skin
and the stories on it,
and rewrite the endings
with your mysterious fingerprints.
Accept that perfection
is just a word, beauty is
just an abstract adjective,
sorrow is just a shade of life
and happiness is always yours.
Accept that you don’t have to
spend too much time
fitting the jigsaw puzzle.
Sometimes leaving empty spaces
is important for you to breathe.
Count the number of times
you hated yourself for doing something,
saying something or just remaining silent.
Imagine if you weren’t this hard on yourself.
Would there have been more peace?
You need to stay in love,
to let love grow, don’t fall out of
it during the downswing.
you owe yourself all the love in this world.
nobody loves you
the way you love yourself.
So stay in love,
and fall in love a little more with
yourself each time
someone says I love you.
Gather the ashes of a galaxy.
A handful of stardust.
The remnants of a thousand stars.
This is free from hatred,
like a river carving it’s path,
cliffs breaking into the ocean.
Let your human become what it may.
A deep breath now.
Inhale into it.
Warm air lighting up the insides.
Your human is awake.
Like the whistle of wind through branches
to become the howl of a storm
Hear those first rattling breaths.
Become the fire of a dragon.
Born of the universe,
notmolded but grown.
A weak breeze to a hurricane.
Inferno wrought of sparks.
You are more music than muscles and bones
where each note plays perfectly.
Inside strings of nerves
and hollows of synapses.
To create actions that weren’t written or decided for you.
To create a symphony unimagined by Mozart.
So that when you are deemed a sidekick by an orchestra,
and handed over a tambourine,
go up on the stage
and play your best version of ‘The Tambourine Man.’
Move out for a bicycle ride
up the highest hill in your town.
Not opening your mouths as you move uphill,
talk with your breath if you must.
Listening to the birds,
to the trees,
to the grains of sand beneath your tires,
Listen to what goes inside yourself.
The metal clinks , the waterfalls, the bomb blasts
that are drowned by the noise of city life.
Till you reach the top,
and then release.
Let all those sounds out from the compression of helplessness
into the valley of relief that spreads ahead.
Listen to the tune of your own band.
Sneak some chocolates in for yourself.
I said chocolates, and not cigarettes.
let ashtrays be eulogies.
Written to the gavel that you strike
when you’re quick to put yourself down,
And chocolates be lullabies
that turn you frown upside-down,
On days of sorrow.
Let yourself know
when your path leads to a dead end,
or a diversion,
or a U-turn.
Right where your car stops with screeching breaks,
around that corner, your own voice is that someone
who will write you a poem
like this one,
Acting as lyrics that perfectly settle
on the music in your muscles and bones,
to create a song worth living for.
– Clevon Peris for MTTN
-Photographs by Manan Dhuri and Jyotinder Singh