35/2017: Set Free

Open my mind,
bring down my walls
let the demons run
free, no longer partitioned
by the walls of the mazes
in my heart.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy


Image from Pixabay – Artist: Logga Wiggler https://pixabay.com/en/users/LoggaWiggler-15/


Day 322: Mystic Women

They pull at your coat
a way to drag you
down and back,
place you safely
in your box.
If only they could
remove the garment
of power you wear.

But what they don’t
understand is you
do not wear power,
you are the strength
of the universe made flesh.
They cannot rip it from you.

It is trying to claim
Air from the skies,
It surrounds you,
fluid and life-giving.

Freely shared to all,
who dare to breathe deeply.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: Apologies for the repost- hit post  instead of save by mistake. Thank you

News: Open Mic & Shab-e She’r

The first time, I spoke too fast. The second, I didn’t make eye contact. The third time, well… I should be a regular by then right?!? – So it should be easier.

After the encouragement of two people I respect, Amy and Manik, I attended by very first Shab-e She’r Poetry Night in September.


Reading my poem at the last Shab-e She’r night. 


For someone who is fully embracing their poetic heart  this year, it was a terrifying challenge. However, I knew  I had to conqure it if I wanted to continue my growth as a poet. I had previously only shared a poem at a book launch, and with my group at the Scaborough Poetry Club (SPC). The SPC  members were so sweet, encouraging and supportive, that they gave me the guts to try the larger stage of Shab-e She’r. Without the Scarbrough Poetry Club’s feedback, support and love – I wouldn’t have ever thought of sharing my poem (they meet the first friday of every month, for anyone seeking to join a supper suportive group).


Publically writing the words in my head is very new to me, and reading them to an audience is somthing I never imagined I would do. I have a slight speech impediment and have always been nervous speaking in front of others (though, I hide it well). I have trained myself to present confidently, but that is always at trainings and workshops, where I am sharing the work of others.

Poetry, and through it, the spoken word, is a whole other beast. It leaves you no other names to hide behind, because the name at the end of that poem is yours. Presentating with the  Scarborough Poetry Club and Shab-e She’r is forcing me to re-examine the barriers I placed on myself, and more importantly, my expectations of my “audience”.

Shab-e She’r is, “The most diverse poetry and open mic series in Toronto; showcasing people from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, etc.” They organize monthly events with two featured poets and open mic performers.

True to its promise,  Shab-e She’r draw a crowd fo 50-70 people of all ages, races, ethnicity and so on.  All with very different styles. I have enjoyed meeting other artists and poets. Every time I go, I learn a little bit more about poetry and this journey I am on. The various styles and topics people present on continue to enrich me.

The next event is on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at Beit Zatoun and starts at 7 pm. It marks the 3 year anniversary (I believe). If you are from Toronto (or in Toronto that night) it is worth checking out. I’ll be there 🙂

This time, I am planning on making eye contact, smiling 🙂 and confidently speaking my poem. Multi-tasking at its best!


Day 309: Tell Her I Miss Her

Where is that girl
with the brown gaze
that sees into souls?

The one with
the fearless demeanor,
that takes no prisoners
and claims all hearts to be hers.

When did those tired
eyes stop seeing,
all the wonder,
the hope,
the possibilities?

How did she start believing,
what the world told her,
the stars proclaimed for her,
what people declared for her?

Where is she,
my steeled eyed girl,
with the hungry soul,
the unbending spirit?

If you see her,
tell her I miss her,
that I have not been complete
since she retreated so far,
that even as I gaze in the mirror,
I can no long find a glimpse
of her.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: Edited and Revised – this is a poem I submitted for the CBC Poetry Contest.

The poem above is part of a series that I submitted to the CBC Poetry Contest and sadly did not make the next round. Rereading it, I could see where I needed to improve and where my flaws were, and before posting changed it a bit. It was terrifying and a challenge to send it, but I wanted to do it, just to get over the nervousness of submitting.

I am the sort who dives in recklessly on try 1, re-assess and then dives in carefully the 2nd time. I am not sure if this is always the best way to do something, but I find it takes care of any of my nervousness because I know, as long as I have done it once, I can do it again 🙂

Any tips for submitting?


Day 233: Why am I afraid to Own my Face?

Why am I afraid to own my face
To own the scars
To see the full image
Instead of presenting glimpses
Of eyes
As if the absence of
The whole
Will make the sums
As if a part of me
Is all of me.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

Day 159: Shoes

I am ready to trade in my shoes,
they are worn and ripped,
though they carried me far,
I don’t think they fit these feet anymore.

These stumbling feet that found
timid purchases on jagged edges.
Calluses, where I managed the irritation
and blisters where I broke,
unable to suffer anymore.
Hoping that by the time it healed,
I would be tougher and less breakable.

Shoes that supported weak ankles
which bent and swayed,
Sometimes finding a foothold,
but mainly falling into this life.

I would like shoes of spun silk,
angle soft and delicate,
shoes you take care off

But will they support me?

Some heels to elongate my legs,
make them appear like works of art.
Power steps on runway walk.

Can I be a statuesque beauty?

Am I a runner?
Or meant to stroll around the beach?
Flip flops kicking up the sand.

How do you get the sand out off…well…

Maybe my old shoes are worn just right;
groves molded to my skin?

or perhaps I just need to kick them off,
stop molding my feet to shoes

Run bare feet
and love the skin
I am in
and the steps
my feet make.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy