Ella is one of my best friends

And she is the greatest poet I have ever met.


Told stories of Johnson.

Arrested for non-violent drug charges,

In the state of Wisconsin.

Told stories of her Grandfather.

His silhouette

Inked through words.

As he stood up to a soldier

Lunging his bayonet.

But Ella’s poetry changed.

Changed when she found her muse.

Her muse’s name was Oliver.

And he,

Was an artist too.

While Ella,

Could squirt ink onto paper

To form rhymes and stories of crimes.


He wasn’t limited to only black ink.

Oliver used electric blue, cerulean frost, cool black, cosmic cobalt, cyan azure, Pantone, and Munsell to represent the seven seas.

His watercolour paintings,

Had burgundy rose soil with brilliant ube-coloured flowers sticking out of it.

He used to always walk Ella home.

And once,

Oliver carried a giant canvas.

He told her of the battleship grey elephants

That would soon roam the burlywood plains

On the canvas.


Ella had never really had a boyfriend before.

And she could only describe him.


As the greens and browns that bloom out of tea leaves

The second it touches boiling water.

Every moment with Oliver felt like

That instantaneous happiness

Of finding the right cord for your phone

When there’s a clusterfuck of different chargers.

Oliver was

A typhoon that flooded Ella’s mind.

And Ella,

Ella built dams

To generate hydro-powered poetry.

She irrigated notebooks that cultivated metaphors.

To explain the endless honeymoon,

That she felt with Oliver.

An eternal night filled with bees sounds like a nightmare.

But if Oliver was there,

It was all Ella ever wanted.

When Oliver asked to read her poems

Ella was too embarrassed.

So he told her how he imagined her poetry in his dreams.

How a dreamworld Ella snuck into his brain at night

And read every line to him.

But Ella,

Ella is not a love poet.

Ella’s best work is about tragedy.

And it was one Friday evening her friend Michelle.

Michelle saw Oliver at the movies with another girl.

His hands all over her like he was some ventriloquist.

But it was Ella who was the dummy.

Ella felt like missed shells had come out of a gun barrel,

Ricocheting into her two hands,

Which were held together in prayer.

Prayer that Michelle had seen the wrong guy.

Those bullet wounds left Ella,

Unable to even pick up a pencil.

The bullet trains that once brought similes and rhymes

From her brain to her to the tips of her pen

Stopped running that day.

And the coursing rivers that powered her stanzas,

Dried up.

I meet Ella for lunch sometimes.

And though it’s been six years,

Ella still tells me that if betrayal had a colour.

It would be Olive.


Poetry blog

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store