Yrsa Daley-Ward

all words (c) Yrsa Daley-Ward 2014

freewrite - the biggest tortoise in the world


"They found the biggest tortoise in the world in South America today,”
you said, massaging the tender knot at the back of my neck
with one hand
removing your boots
with the other.
"They had to get a lorry or something to remove it, imagine that.”
I said nothing, thinking of all of the things you understand and
all of the things you don’t 
like how I will love you forever but 
probably from afar and 
not in the way you want and 
how you’ll find somebody new
to be with.
It’s only fair.
Maybe he or she will have
tightness in the neck
a passion for useless facts 
the power to stick around and 
really, I miss you already.

Yrsa Daley-Ward 

Artichokes, by Yrsa Daley-Ward


Until you have been the last ones sitting in the café on the corner and she has kissed the dark rum from the rim of your glass and schooled you in the art of eating artichokes…until then, you are not yet woman. Until you put soft leaf to lip, touch tongue to flesh, bite the lobe, swallow the juice she says will purify you, until you open it up, sigh at the colour, see its very middle and learn what fingers are best at…until you reach further still into that thick, hot, heart

life has not yet started.

 Before you had been promised. Before she is a liar. Before you are dismantled, fixed and broke again you are not yet a lover. Remember on the right night and under the right light any idea can seem like a good one and love

…love is mostly ill advised but always brave.

The most important thing to do is not to worry. The lines on your face will never stop the sun from coming up. Your tears cannot affect the weather. There are wars going on. The one in your body is the only one you can be sure of losing…or winning, then losing again.

 You drink more water than rum, these days, don’t you? But you drink to her memory, don’t you? And you only take artichokes in salad. Never whole. Not in a café on a dusky street at midnight. Not with her. Never with her, or anyone like her.

“According to you,
people like me
shouldn’t go into places like this or
be around people like these.
but you don’t know the half of it.
The brightest of stars, frankly
are just a load of hot air and
diamonds, sadly,
were just formed from dust and rock
and the butterfly, remember,
used to crawl on its belly
and tiny legs
through the dirt.”

—   from Yrsa Daley-Ward. You Dont Know the Half Of It. (via thiswillnotlast)

(via nayyirahwaheed)

Shot for By @kaymontano for @thevioletbook Photo @nicolenodland Styling @vfillolcordier Hair @annacofone Story by me Ed in Chief @leithclark

“One day I will tell you what I’ve been.
It will scare you.”

who was doing what and where


She was in the kitchen. Not crying.

Not crying, I said.

He was in the hallway almost gone, like the rest of them

We were in the living room. Not caring.

Not caring, mind you.

Perhaps we did. Perhaps we cared, a bit.

Perhaps she did a bit of crying too.

(via thiswillnotlast)

“She has all of this poetry late at night
all of this bullshit in the morning
and you think you wont be fooled
but you are. You always are.”

—   poets and their b.s

“Writing is a soft and a hard place all at once.”

—   Yrsa Daley-Ward
Yrsa Daley-Ward

You are one of those people, it is clear, who needs help. I think you should stop speaking in a low attractive voice whenever you call. Stop making me think of velvet and fragrant tobacco and that first sip of bourbon. Stop inciting stirrings, movements between us…little rebellions, causing chaos in all of my darker places. The top half of my body is at gross political warfare with the lower. One part of me is roaring and the other wholly disapproves. You are a beautiful danger. Do not force me to open up. Some books are bound tightly for years for reasons. Some books are burned for their own good, Love. Stop wearing clothes the way that you do. Don’t allow them to cling to your body like that. Do not follow these effortless fashions where everything looks just so, because, really who could resist such a thing? The Lord knows you are beautiful, and unfair. I think perhaps you should spare a thought, dear, for those who are sick over you, burning up with you, damp for you.You know what you do. You’re a slow fever. Don’t be so very engaging, amusing or witty, or bright. You are causing confusion and jams in tight spaces. You are an accident in waiting. The type of accident with casualties spanning from me to you and here to there, a potential tragedy, a stunning unborn disaster. Should I touch you, I will suffer and you will suffer and she will suffer. You are a danger zone. I must not enter, I should not enter, but I might.”

(c) Yrsa Daley-Ward

kelleymw asked: I want to thank you. Saying so doesn't surmise how much. I just discovered you this morning. I'm on a new life journey. I actually got in my knees and prayed for you being right where you needed to be at that very moment. *blessing*

When a lovely stranger is wishing you well, sending you blessings :-) what a start to the week! Thank-you so much for that.

Here’s to your wonderful new journey and to mine…I’m excited.

“The difference between attraction and compatibility…how it kicks you in the belly every now and then.”

Anonymous asked: When is a specific time when words have been important to you?

Again and again. But specifically…I  would have to say right now. Entering into a space and practice I’m referring to as heart work, when I’m revisiting origins of certain patterns of behaviour and getting experiences, feelings and healing methods onto paper (or computer screen!) I find writing a soft and a hard place all at once. It’s the honesty required I think…the need to really go in deep. I’ve also been so blessed to connect with some beautiful writers, who challenge and inspire me and are nothing less than family. Their words heal and move me all the time. Have you ever read Nayyirah Waheed’s ‘Salt?’

Some of the people who inspire me to write my truth, daily. Tapiwa Mugabe. Te’ V Smith. Alice Walker. Jeanette Winterson.  

Another time…three years ago when I was in South Africa modelling, I happened upon a couple of poetry venues and knew I had to get back into writing. My spirit was drained and I was merely existing - dangerously low and lonely as hell. Carrying all of this darkness around with me and drowning in it. Biting my tongue and trying to live doesn’t work for me…it took a while to know  it. I need to talk, connect, share. Words continue to save me all of the time.

“Certainly things happened that should not have happened, but firstly, that is the way things go.”


- Opening line from FISHWICK from On Snakes & Other Stories, by Yrsa Daley-Ward


(via thiswillnotlast)