Posted by: tsopr | March 20, 2013

Leilanie Stewart, Northern Irish-Filipino Poet

Leilanie StewartLeilanie Stewart is a Northern Irish-Filipina writer and poet. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Neon Highway, Erbacce, The Journal, Inclement, Decanto, Weyfarers, Sarasvati, Graffiti, The Robin Hood Book and more is forthcoming in Tips for Writers and Nostrovia. She currently lives in London with her husband, writer and poet, Joseph Robert. More about Leilanie’s writing can be found at 

       Featured Poetry of Leilanie Stewart

Cycle of Rebirth

I’m sitting
writing a poem
about a woman
who wrote a poem
on the Underground.

Her poem
left me feeling sad-
all about a woman
who miscarried a child
in her concrete womb.

I’m sitting
in a train on the tracks
stuck in the blackness
of a concrete womb-
a tunnel,

ferrying me on
into a netherworld
from which I hope
I can escape
into the light.

don’t deliver me
into the realm of Hades
I’ve eaten my pomegranate seeds,
all six of them,

I’ll use them
as the Ancient Egyptians did,
a symbol of fertility
biding my time to return
to a world of new life-

in spring.


As I lie here
in this vegetative state
dictating to myself
in my head, I realise
there is no true silence
while the flesh is warm.

My mind ticks over
but my body can’t keep up
thoughts dissipate
into the ether,
knowing one day my body
will follow.

Until then, I lie
trapped by carbon
my limbs perfectly still
but the metaconscious
racing, the definition
of quiet, is unknown.

This is the soppiest I can get

The world was full
Of upside down teardrops
You turned them around
And made them into hearts
You stuck them on
A sheet of cloth
I wore them proudly
It’s the toughest fabric I know
Because you wove
A part of yourself into it
Just for me


Psyche got punished
for wanting to know the truth,
wanting to see the face of her husband.

She was banished from the Kingdom
the moment she held
a candle and knife over Cupid’s head.

It’s always been the same, ages before, ages since
that we should live our lives in blissful denial
accepting the hell imposed on us as a slice of heaven.

But not me. I’m with Psyche
climbing that mountain to fill her urn
with the purest water coming straight from source.

The Opposite of White is Black

The lighthouse
has had enough
of sharing light with ships
that would be better off
crashing against the rocks,
sinking into a stygian abyss,
simply because
they carry cargo from
one port to another
and never question
their orders.

Standing on a lone promontory
the lighthouse knows
erosion will soon cut it off
The fog will roll in, surround it,
on its limestone stack.

Tomorrow will not be the same
but that’s ok
life is better for the lighthouse
in the dark; tainted,
than on an easy ride
over a glassy bay.


He said that
he’d got her sussed out-
that he’d hit
the nail on the head,
predicting her every move.

He claimed he
was a humanist,
though he’d mixed up
his vocabulary
and really meant
when he said
that she should
learn her place-
in the kitchen.

Then again,
maybe he was
neither of those things.

Myasthenia Gravis

When I was younger
people used to ask me
why I didn’t smile much
and I’d tell them I had
myasthenia gravis
rather than admit
that I had one too many
worries on my brow,
burdening me, forming
the skin on my forehead
into wrinkles, pushing
the muscles of my cheeks
into loose hanging jowls
that slowly dripped over
my chin, making me
into the lapdog for the
people who put the frown
on my face, in the first

Lapis Luzuli

Don’t ask me why,
but I hate the word ‘lacunae’;
it sounds vulgar,
like a derogatory term
for a part of the female anatomy

Now, if I were to decorate
this ‘depression’, or lacunae
with lapis luzuli, suddenly,
it would be transformed
into a ritual fit for any Pict.

A Matter of Perspective

I finally had my stigmatism fixed;
not the one in my eyes,
but the one on my soul;
the one through which I saw
all the people in my life whirl by
in a kaleidoscope
Funny then, that amidst the gale
of relationships I thought I had
got straight, in my head,
I was missing the point
and all the colours were blurred
They blended into a muddy mix,
the red platelets breaking
into a stream of yellow plasma
staining everything around me

Bell Curve

Most people live their lives
as grown-up toddlers;
ego-centric souls
interested only in concerns
that involve them, while all the time,
never thinking to delve deeper
than the surface of their own skin.

What is beneath the epidermis?
A blackened, wizened spirit
or a bulb that has never flowered,
never been nurtured, never seen daylight-
never had a chance to grow.

If the latter is the cause,
then the life was nothing more
than a shallow existence,
of a grey shade, floating,
from post to post, barely leaving notches.

How sad.

Copyright © 2013 Leilanie Stewart


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