I think that the world was born from terror.

She wore a seraphic smile to please the gaze of others.

She found her many faces in the lakes, the oceans, the streams,

that caress her supple skin.

The same way that I find myself,

not in the mirror across from me – that figure is


Devoid of life.

Not in the mirror across from me,

but the crescent moons

etched into my palms.

And so, we are the same – the world & I.

A vengeful vulture.

Far below us, night envelopes the lands.


Pale blue filmy eyes carefully unravelling

Fractured curious souls.

A startling silence settles the void,

as the people await first broken light.

MARCH 2003

I) I think that I was born from terror.

A distant child who did not dare cry or yowl.

I often questioned myself why I was so afraid,

to speak. To be heard.

‘Melt my scorched flesh.

And bury me beneath your skin.’

I begged.

Only then will I be whisked away into the smoke-adorned clouds to

witness the Mirages: familiar gifts.

And I wail for I know my prayers will go unanswered.

II) A solitary life was death to some.

To me it was a boon. A blessing.

Beginning and end. That is our sole purpose.

We are a cycle.

Of seasons – green, grey, pale yellow and burnt amber.

We are a cycle.

Of memories – tainted with the soft colours of a child’s kaleidoscopic mind.

Are we also, perhaps,

a cycle

of tortured nostalgia and

self-inflicted wounds?

And so, one day I will disappear, but for now I lay in the earth’s palms –

and for just one moment she and I are infinite.

Untouched and Whole.

‘Oh, silent little lamb,’ she says to me,

‘How I pray that fear never consumes you in

the same manner which Saturn once devoured his sons.’

‘The same manner in which

I must soon devour you.’

And she wails for she knows her prayers will go unanswered.


We are people made up of words.

Written, unspoken, fleeting words.

We are monsters made of half-told lies

and impending nightmares.

We love and we ruin.

We hate and we create.

We are everywhere all at once,

devouring, inhaling, perceiving

and yet,

We are all so utterly alone.


this is what makes us such awful arrogant creatures

who consume what is not meant to be ingested

and bestow what is not ours to grant.

We all have such an insatiable hunger to be known.

To be desired.

To be remembered.

Yet, we choose to devour.

Hungry beasts litter the street floors

as we speak.


But I am now free.

My mind no longer


by the limitations of my body.

My soul has been captured and locked away by

the village people.

And as the ardent fire licks away salty tears,

the crescent moon, he witnesses such

naive and hollow Man: a familiar sight.

Man comes together to watch the flames lick at the wretched beast’s heels.

And my heart – bloody and pure; yearns for another chance.

One final chance, not for myself, but for her.

I am no longer a silent child – a shepherd’s little lamb.

And I will find myself grappling with my purgatory state.

Narcotic murmurs threaten to spill from my petal lips

unto the waves of heat and humiliation.

Shouts of fury and rage.




Once more


Am I truly her child?

Or simply:

A bird of prey.

Jannavi Rao is a dedicated writer with a hunger for romantic fiction and gothic suburbia. Her writings are an exploration of nostalgia infused with a brief yearning to understand the complexities of life. Her piece “Colours of the World” was shortlisted in the Whitlam Institute’s “What Matters Now?” writing competition in 2020.