How to Be

‘I don’t know how to be’

It’s a line I’ve used before

to capture my sense of falling

through the looking glass

I am blown to tiny particles

the light a subtle diffusion

that reflects in shadow

my cast of other selves

My heart tremulous in my chest

causes ripples through my ribs

the cage that holds me in

contains my salt and earth

‘I don’t know how to be’

It’s a line I’ve used before

and this time I’m captured

the looking glass shattered

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20 responses to “How to Be

    • It is ‘how to be’ rather than ‘who to be’ . More of a sense of not knowing how to be in/respond to a moment. It could be not being sure how to fit in, or maybe just how to cope. Does that make any more sense?

  1. i don’t know how to be has a almost haunting feeling…sometimes we get captured in ourselves and good when some of those glasses shatter and the real person can shine through

  2. Sometimes we give so much of ourselves away to others, doing everything for them, we lose our own identity in the doing (I did) So, I can really relate to this and needing to re-learn who we actually are again. Very deep and, thought provoking.

  3. “I am blown to tiny particles
    the light a subtle diffusion
    that reflects in shadow
    my cast of other selves”

    Is it through the glass and shattered, and then caged once the glass itself shatters? Then how can any one win? Tell your speaker not to be frightened–neither a mirror nor a fantasy is necessary. SImply say once again “I don’t know how to be,” make peace with the question, and live into the answer.

  4. The mystery of “beingness” takes center stage. So fragile, like seeing a baby’s heart beat, its lungs move – knowing that life and its infinity dwells there within. This continues with mounting tension, the feeling of entrapment, the imagination clawing for release, the mind encouraging, the body trapping. I think this poem has great depth, and resilience. The shattered bits are just debris from the soul’s persistence to be free.

  5. I enjoyed that Vanessa, especially the alliteration in the line “causes ripples through my ribs’

    A real sense of emotion captured in the words, which is always good.

  6. I like this a lot. Although together as one piece unbroken, I love how there are distinct stanzas within, easy to identify as you read it. really cool lines in here as well. I don’t know how to be–what a statement, perfectly apt for the poetic mindset and expanded upon through poetry. Great write. Thanks

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