• Mad Gleam Press

Ages, In Progress

I. Happiness is sunny side up

My dad loves a perfect sunny side up. I look out of the window at the trees from the house I am in. I am isolated and sustaining kindness in myself by making perfect sunny side up eggs everyday. I make two of them today. I feel the blood rise in my heart and glow with abundance like the ochre yellow of the yolks. I wonder how genetic codes make us who we are. I murmur to myself as I heat the pan. Like my mom. I am no longer impatient with my husband for wanting them the same way.

II. Happiness is upright stalks

My mom gathers random flowers on her walks. She watched over her garden like a hawk. Her home always so proud with vases tucked away in every corner, filled with bullrushes, and wildflowers. I gather this moment as if it may not be here tomorrow. I capture it both on my phone and inside me. With my fingers I touch the flowers as if they were watching me like my mother watched over me as a child. Like her flower arrangements, they gently nod. It is dusk. I look away before it is unbearable.

III. Happiness is a bird’s song

My children are just a phone call away. We talk about things to do and things we have done. From a distance, they walk me through their lives. I look around at the blue sky, the nip in the air, the trees turning pale. It is not until I look at the intimate family of ducks striding along the lake that I begin to cry. Such a common yet how rare it is and forgotten. I trust the lyric of the bird that sings to the river waves. In the same way I would hum an ordinariness to them, when my children were young.

IV. Happiness is time and tide

My life just like all of ours is now a stillness. Still in the same place. Still stilled. Droning alongside, time is leaving behind messages of being fine. It rings in the day and brings in the night. Teaching us to be thankful we are alive. The sun still rises and scenes still stay with babies and dogs on walks with parents wearing N-95 masks. It is okay or will be soon. I write a few more poems for another anthology. It is humbling that editors are still reading about time and tide. Words are still undying.


Julia Simoniello is an artist, illustrator, and musician. To find more of their work, check out @juliasimoniello on IG. You can also follow their life as an artist at @juliasane.

Kashiana Singh's TEDx talk was dedicated to her life mantra of Work as Worship. Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words presents her voice as a participant and an observer. Her second chapbook Crushed Anthills is a collection of poems and photographs through which she unravels her journey through ten cities. Her poems have been published on various international platforms. Kashiana lives in Chicago and carries her various geographical homes within her poetry.

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