Hello + some updates.
Right now it is past four in the morning in Manila, and I am thinking about what it took to get here. I mean—all the years we’ve lost, and all those hours in the deep dark, not knowing what comes next. Have you ever felt at one point how the life you hold is not yours to have, how you are a wild thing being constantly trammelled by this unforgiving world? And yet we persist. And yet we are here, my darling friend, and isn’t it a marvel.
Please tell me how you have been. I am eager to hear stories of how your life is unfolding in many directions. Are you eating on time? Are you being held in love and warmth? Have you been pursuing your goals, crossing things off your to-do list? Have you given yourself permission to eat cake? Do you have socks to wear for when it’s freezing? What song have you been singing lately?
As for me—it’s been a milieu of beautiful and wondrous things, and painful and terrible things, all of which to say, I feel that in the past few months my heart has been obliterated time and time again, only to regrow from the wound as if a phoenix from the ashes.
There have been a few deaths in my family, and the grief comes and goes. Some days I think I am finally making headway, finally going to be okay, and then it sneaks up on me, that sudden plunge into anguish. And the depression, where do I even begin. I told a friend recently: if it was a backpack I’ve been carrying it certainly feels so heavy, and everything seems unending.
But let me tell you about things that have astonished me, too: tending to plants, which have decidedly taken up space in my home, and I most certainly didn’t predict would be something I would be doing during this period in my life. Lunch plans that I almost always want to cancel, and then I decided to go at the last minute, and how good a decision that was, to show up for my friends and for myself. Writing new poems and working on my book. Loving and being loved. Especially that.
I want to take a moment now to thank you for your continued love and support for Read A Little Poetry. I know many of you have been with me since 2005. I read all of your messages (and I still owe a lot of people letters!), and over the years I feel we have grown together in profound ways. With over 3,000 subscribers and 4 million views, we have built an incredible community of poetry readers, and I am so honoured to be part of this shared experience. I’ve said this quite a few times, too, but it really is a labour of love—born out of passion for language and a desire to share poems that have made an impact on my life.
And it is for this reason that I am humbly asking today for your support to help keep Read A Little Poetry alive and thriving. To achieve certain financial goals would allow me to spend more time on this than I ever imagined was possible. By sending either a one-time donation or through a monthly subscription, you will not only enable me to maintain the website and cover the costs of its upkeep, but you will also be supporting and empowering independent presses and poets, including myself.
For almost 18 years, I have devoted countless hours and resources to make the site a sanctuary for all who appreciate the written word. If you find value in the work I do and the poems I share, please consider funding the website.
With your help, I will be able to:
- Update the site on a more regular basis with new posts and poems
- Provide supplementary content that is shared in social media, especially on Twitter (7,000+ followers) and Instagram (8,000+ followers)
- Cover costs for the domain, hosting, maintenance, and security of the site
- Cover costs for the tools I use to produce content and improve site features
- Provide a better repository that academics and teachers all over the world are using for their lesson plans and classrooms
- Hold more poets to the light and purchase their books, so I can feature their work
- Support publishers, small presses, and journals
So far, the donations have led me to accomplish the following:
- First Lines Index
- Last Lines Index
- Ongoing: a more comprehensive category and tag index for the site
- Future: readings and lectures database, and more
No contribution is too small, and every little bit helps. Your support will ensure that Read A Little Poetry continues to be a haven for those seeking solace, inspiration, and connection.
I have made some updates to provide you with more options on how to help:
- Make a one-time donation through my Ko-Fi page
- Choose a membership tier where you can make monthly donations in $1, $5, $10, $15 or $30—and receive rewards
- My requests are open—you can commission me to find a poem for you or create a personalised reading list
- Share Read A Little Poetry with friends, family, and colleagues, encouraging them to join our community
- Engage with us on social media (Twitter and Instagram)—like, comment, and share our content
- Purchase books and support publishers, small presses, and journals that promote the work of the poets we feature. You can do it via the links at the end of each post, or via my Library, or the Read A Little Poetry store on Bookshop.org
How strange it is to be anything at all, reads a card that I have put up above my desk. I look at it often, and especially now when I am feeling most vulnerable. I cannot thank you enough for your trust in me, for your belief, and for being here after all this while. I have loved poetry since always, and your kindness makes all the difference. You are helping me work full-time on what I love most in my life. You are also contributing to my safety and security as an artist. It’s a treasure, a gift, and a huge boost to continue writing. I do not take your support for granted, and I am deeply, deeply beholden to you for the opportunity. Thank you.
Finally, a poem:
It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out – no guarantees
in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
With unending gratitude and love,
T. De Los Reyes
Founder, Read A Little Poetry
Things I have learned:
(1) A recent revelation: We are all broken. Every. Single. One. of us. Even those friends you think you know like your own soul will surprise you with what they hide and endure, every day.
(2) Death is a part of life, and the sooner we accept that into our being, the sooner we can begin to tread a more enlightened, accepting path. Grieving is a process, especially when someone is taken from us too soon, and missing them is the pain we must suffer for loving them, but there is a peace to be had in being aware and accepting that old age is a privilege that not everyone gets to enjoy.
(3) we are all broken and Kindness is everything.