Harmonic Mean

I’ve always been proud of being on outlier,
a statistical abnormality,
the point that messes up your entire correlation equation.

I’ve always believed my small rebellions would be amplified,
sending shockwaves through a system;
altering means and medians,
skewing the bell-curve
with just the tiniest ripple.

I needed to prove that I was more than just a statistic
that I was more powerful than any number
they assigned to value my worth.

The thing about people
is that they don’t like looking at outliers.
They can make systems very complex.
And I’ve always said
when doing math, try and make your life easy,

Which is why I shouldn’t be surprised
when they found a way to ignore my rebellion,
my non-conformity,
and decide what society actually is, without me.

They can either remove my data set entirely,
and be arrogant about it
or they can use complicated strategies
to confused the layman
and present an image
they will convince you is the truth,
but you can’t be sure because
mathematical jargon is the strength of
the ‘objective’ outliers painting the picture.

I found one such jargon, called
The Harmonic Mean.

Sounds pretty doesn’t it?

Sounds artistic, even.
But really it’s an equation
to account for our abnormality
to stabilize our influence in society
without sending us to exile
in their back-alley databases,
or categorising us as ‘human error’;
it is the sound of a melody
that could soothe our souls enough,
to pull us drunkenly away from the party
and into a corner
acknowledging our existence
but diminishing our power;

It is more diplomatic than asking us to leave.

I’ve always wanted to be an outlier
because I like to shake up the system,
and keep those who enjoy predictable trends on their toes.

I guess I have never realised,
they are the ones controlling the music.


Note: This poem is inspired by the definition and conditions under which the Harmonic Mean is recommended to be used in mathematical analysis. This no way explains the concept fully but this poem hopes to act as a bridge to understanding it. If my understanding of the concept is flawed, please email me at cheyennealexnandriaphillips@gmail.com and I will be more than willing to learn from you and attempt a new poem.

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Harmonic Mean by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Language Barrier

A friend said,
You should write a dyslexic poem.

I already did.
No. You should write a poem with all your dyslexic mistakes in it.

That’s every poem I’ve ever written.
No. This will be creative. It will look very starking on page. Then you can submit it –

Only to have editors reject it and introduce me to spell check,
thinking the poems would have been great if only my ‘disability’ didn’t hinder me.

Besides, how am I going to write a poem with the word ‘lifejacket’ in it, where I spell ‘lifejacket’ as

Yes, it really happened.
I was drafting my risk assessment and I misspelt something that would save me.

I understand your good intentions but I don’t want to be the poster girl for dyslexia.
I don’t want my voice to be used for misspells and gibberish,
my poems used as artillery in a war of language that does not exist.
Just because you and I see something different doesn’t mean it’s not the same.

But you should know,
Microsoft Word has given up on me
because it no longer shows the red squiggly lines under
my brain’s illusion of the English Language.

I still pause in the middle of essays
and write the same word ten different ways to find the right spelling.
It’s the worse guessing game in the world
because nothing looks wrong and
I don’t have a ‘call a friend’ option.

It’s like being in primary school again,
and I am learning how to write the alphabet
and I’m second guessing
how to draw the perfect circle for o,
how to conquer the curves of s
how to write the straight line
that is used to refer to myself.

Now, alphabet soup is my least favorite food.
If it were an ocean,
some of us would be strong swimmers
while others need a lifejacket to stay afloat
even if it’s misassembled.

I understand your good intentions.
But asking me to write a dyslexic poem
with all my dyslexic mistakes
will not at all be considered revolutionary
especially when nobody else can read it.

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Language Barrier by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Your Poem

People have asked if I have written you a poem.

I tell them no.

A poem is
too short
too sweet
too simple
too poetic
for me to pen down…


I tell them ‘no’
and it’s the truth.
I haven’t written you a poem;
I’ve written you a few.

Everyone filled with a different emotion of
and love.

They cannot be compiled.
They lay scattered on my floor refusing to come together.

They are different notes
of different songs
in different keys
that when attempted to be combined sound like a 5 year old hitting the keys of a piano….


I haven’t written you a poem
but if I have, I haven’t stopped writing it.

It is all in different sections now
different pieces of the puzzle, the picture remains incomplete

My pen loves caressing the paper with your name.
My fingers type without resistance.
Even when kisses are supposed to end,
they don’t.
My fingers trace the outline of your lips in ink
running over the keyboard like they were caressing your face.

It just comes naturally.

Sometimes they want to slap you.
Sometimes they don’t want to touch you.
But most of the time

They remember how your skin felt;
they long for that touch.
They slide over keys
drawing the images in words
tracing the moments out
so that I could remember them.

You don’t have a poem.
You have an unfinished novel
Every time I want to write the words


Something new comes up. Another twist to the story
May be I just want to keep writing
May be I just need to keep writing

It will never be finished

You will never be allowed to read it.

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Your Poem by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lone Little Propagule



Lone little propagule,
standing in the shadows
of your brothers,
you are the only one I see.

I almost didn’t.
I’m so used to the big life;
it’s easy to forget
how it all began.

May be it’s because
I don’t see it that often,
either I can’t find it
among the big players,

Or I don’t go looking.
I’ve been taught that
size is proportionate
to importance.

It is a false sentiment,
one I am trying to shake off.
it is not as fragile as you are.

I hope you stand straighter
and bury your roots deep
in unsteady shores;
you are the only one to do so.

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Lone Little Propogule by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


I’ve always thought the stars were the only ones
that were allowed the paint the darkest of skies,
that is until we became so jealous, we created
a light source that with a single crack,
allowed us to carry light to the darkest of places
without having to always look up for directions.
With a thousand sticks, we could leave our mark
in the ink the universe uses.
We could build sculptures of light
in the middle of our towns, stack them high,
spread them out, show off their versatility,
illuminating festivals and large gatherings.
The stars have never known camaraderie before.

And when we wear fluorescent bands
on our wrists and around our necks,
we look up, and we see
the stars running across the sky.
We pause, remove our bands of light
and fling! Shoot out trails of luminescence
that will fly right by the heads
of unsuspecting passer-bys,
almost touching but not close enough,
just the right distance to feel
the small ‘wosh’ of magic
that flying stars leave behind.
We try to make the stars jealous,
showing off our colours;
there are too many of them
for the stars to replicate.
We hang our colours from the treetops,
lightly illuminating the space
where the mat is laid, food is ate,
laughter is exchanged and
all the warmth you need
is found within each other.
Let us make an aisle for
a bride with her white dress
and with her combat boots, stomp down,
tear them open, have the colours
splash all over her white gown
in some radiant, glowing master piece.
The stars have never seen love before.

We think we are better. Point up. laugh at them.
They look down on us. Shaking their heads, knowing
that we think we might have the upper hand, now
being able to hold the stars’ abilities in our hands
but the stars are wise,
and that’s why we look up to them.
They know our light will last a night,
and theirs will last a life time.

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Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips by Glowsticks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.