This is my current state, but for a positive reason…

My late discovery of it being National Poetry Day (NPD) yesterday, came not only with a rush to finish a poem before Midnight (Asia time = GMT+7), but also a subsequent decision to deprive myself of sleep.

Why?

Because when scanning the NPD website, the #SpeakYourTruthPoem competition caught my eye, and my pointing out to myself that I was already in bed, would have to find, finish, or formulate another poem, put on video worthy clothes, record it, then upload it etc. did not manage to cause me to close my eyes!

So at past 1 in the AM, I finished another poem, proceeded to put on video worthy clothes, while hoping my laptop would charge just enough to mean I wouldn’t have to figure out another location to record in. Or wait half an hour before I pressed record. You see I knew if I waited, it was not gonna happen.

I took my laptop and it’s 13% battery life up to the balcony, positioned myself as best as possible, then pressed record and endeavoured to expressively enunciate, without waking from sleep the guests in the room nearby.

3 tries later -no 1-take wonder-, and the video was done, and safely saved with 2% to spare. All that was left to do, was to upload, tag, copy-paste, ‘save’.

But guess what? You could enter up to 3 poems, and although I told myself “no” on the balcony, by the time I returned to my room, I had reversed my decision.

As I did a wardrobe change, I asked myself,

Why in the world was I doing this?

It was now past 3 in the AM, and yet I proceeded on. Both baffled and purposeful, exasperated and enthused.

By 4.13am I was all done. I know this, because I messaged my cousin to tell her what I’d done. I felt accomplished and pleased with myself. Nervous, yet excited about having opened up myself, and my self-expression to some potential new opportunities.

So as I sit here now, struggling to function, was my lack of sleep (in the end I had none!) worth it?

Yes.

Because at some point during those ridiculous late-early hours, it dawned on me that this was a passion*. I was, and am increasingly more aware, that I am passionate about this lyrical part of me, and what it produces.

Even though I have some fear in terms of so publicly putting myself out there, I also growing in confidence, that it is an integral part of who I am, and what I am supposed to be doing. Both as an expression of the multifaceted me, and also a potential point of resonance for others.

I most definitely wouldn’t want to be lacking in sleep every night; but I am curiously invigorated to know that poetry can cause me to surrender this necessary necessity, in the pursuit of its expression.

Question: Is there anything (positive) that you would deprive yourself of sleep for?

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• If the YouTube player doesn’t load, you can view the poems here and here. Volume will need to be turned up to max.

* Interestingly, the root word of passion means to suffer.

“Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin passio(n- ) (chiefly a term in Christian theology), from Latin pati ‘suffer’.” – Dictionary.com