The Messenger Pigeons For Mighty Hearts.

By Alise Versella

“I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” ~ Joan Didion

Oh Joan, how is it that you know me so well with one simple line?

I too don’t know what I think until I write it down. I cannot project the clever words of my true feelings with this quiet voice alone. It will never reach the farthest walls of your kingdom; it will neither reverberate in your eardrums nor pulse through your veins.

I cannot tell you what I really think until the pen tip has bled it out. Until the stains spread out over the linen of the page, until my voice has been relinquished to the butchered pulp of white. Only once I’ve bled out have I truly come alive. Only then has my voice found its strength, the song sung loudly a capella.

I stand distinguished then — bold typeface, a rock solid jetty in a sea of words that only ring out in hopes of fitting in; they are whispers caught on the wind and swept away for so long they disappear altogether. I have found strength in words.

While they have always bubbled in my throat and gotten stuck, one day they deviated from their predetermined course and found refuge in my wrists, the tiny canals of my fingers, and emptied out into the white foam seas.

I will not disappear. I will not echo the words that admit me entry into a kingdom dressed in fineries I cannot afford myself. I will build my own kingdom — shabby as it may be and I will reign independently in the temple of my mind.

I will write to you what I think, and you will then see my words hit the walls of your kingdoms like cannon fire; my words will reverberate in your eardrums and pulse through your veins, they will be the roar of the ocean and the hurricane winds.

My words will carry the mighty quiet voices and set them like warships to seas uncharted, their flags drawn, stating, “These words are our own and we voice them proudly, you cannot take them from us.”

Yes, I do not know what I think until I have had the chance to write it down. Oh, but there lies true power in my pen tips. Words do indeed hold a power.

And maybe our voices aren’t always the powerful means to carry them into a crowd of indistinguishable whispers. But the fluttering white wings of pages have been bled upon by our mighty hearts and perhaps that is a better mode of transport.



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Alise Versella
Alise Versella is a poet living at the Jersey Shore. She has published three volumes of poetry which can be found at her website, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Her work has been featured on Elephant Journal, Women's Spiritual Poetry blog,, The Tattooed Buddha, and of course here. She considers herself a coffee enthusiast and self-proclaimed dessert whore, who believes with every fiber of her being that poetry, beautiful poetry, can come from the ugliest of pain. Poetry can be the salve for all the broken parts, and it can make us whole.
Alise Versella
Alise Versella