It’s nothing serious.

This piece is dedicated to the Love Our MacRitchie team, and environmentalist in Singapore and around the world, still fighting the good fight. This poem was written for MacRitchie.

“It was nothing serious”.

It’s our “get out of commitment’ free card when we get scared,
Our “ I take it all back” go-to phrase when plans change,
When we need their space for ourselves

We forget the foundations of the relationship:
the strongholds we had in place,
We want to walk away with more than half,

Leaving them open, torn apart,
Struggling to recover from the stab wound
we dug deeply through them,

They end up losing more liquid life
than can be replenished.
It is the worst of all betrayals.

We pull away so quickly
We think it will be like ripping off a bandaid.
But we underestimate how much force we use
And end up hitting ourselves in the face with our own fist.

It was nothing serious
Is worst than
It’s not you, it’s me
We just fell out of love
I need space

It was nothing serious
Is the basis for empty promises
False hopes
Misguided faith

It’s worse when you’ve heard it before
And offered forgiveness
Setting yourself up to hear it again
Somehow we always turn a deaf ear.

Somethings you can’t fix
Somethings you can’t take back
Losing the word ‘commitment’ from your vocabulary,

Has more repercussions than anticipated,
Not just for the other party
But also for ourselves
And one day,
Something will be serious
And there is nothing we can say to stop it.

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It’s nothing serious by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Dopamine or Manic Pixie Dream Girl

She was stunning,
sitting by the window at a coffeehouse,
her hair in messy bun,
reading T.S. Elliot’s complete works,
a notepad on the table,
accompanied by an untouched latte.
It has to be
the way the light shines through
giving her that alluring glow
how she is hunched over, engrossed
scribbling notes
unfazed by the haversack
sitting heavily on the stool next to her;
It’s the only reason
why your attention would be drawn to her
regardless of you sitting across the room from her
or taking a stroll outside.
You know how the story goes,
you’ll walk up to her
strike a conversation
and her smile overdoses your synapses,
you don’t even notice you are sitting down,
across from her
it takes a moment for her to look up from her book
but only after your delirious mumbling
crosses the table.
Looking at her,
you know she’s the kind of woman
that could change your life,
the kind that is known
to have big adventures
and even bigger passions
who knows life is bigger than you think it can be
but it’s like she pretends not to know it
as she humbly sips her coffee.
You don’t know why
but you are compelled
to tell her your story
about your run-in with
or model airplanes,
and your goals for a brighter future
and she will tell you that
you are the only one rooting yourself to the ground.

You want to believe her
but you know it’s not true;
it’s her smile that makes you want to run
spread your wings and soar
like the white-bellied sea-eagle
majestic in the sky,
but vulnerable from down below.
The rush is too good to ignore.
that you will lose her
that you won’t really know why
and when you do,
you may fall into a downward spiral.
Your craving for her
could lead to two different paths:
one, you crave for something else
something more damaging
something that will not let you move on
or two, you cannot control your actions
you shake, you lose your nerves
your body is no longer a slave to your neutrons.
The trick is not how to keep her
so that you never spiral,
the trick is how to grow together,
so that she is not just passing by
so that she doesn’t just give you
the good feelings alone.

Note: While researching Dopamine and it’s chemical properties, I discovered how it affects the human body and could not help notice resemblances between Dopamine and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl stock type from movies. This poem does not explain the effects of Dopamine on the human body nor does it explain the stock type of Manic Pixie Dream Girl and if you want to know more, you should definately pick up a text book.

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Dopamine or Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Dear Mr Pinworm

Dear Mr Pinworm,
It’s the same tension you get when playing Jenga,
And there’s that piece at the bottom
that will ruin everything;
it is a foundation more delicate,
than we assume it to be.
It is the only game that teaches us
that some systems aren’t meant to be stable,
simply because they are not.
You happen to be the bottom piece.

To be honest, I had to google your picture
and still I wouldn’t be able to find you in a crowd.
I suppose that is my biggest ignorance,
seeing that you were once
the biggest challenger of our egos,
despite your size.

So I guess it’s true?
Something small can change the world.
Perhaps we owe you an apology,
for attributing size to importance.
We were taught that,
the higher up the food chain you are,
the bigger the office you get.

It makes sense
if your sisters fed on other apes,
you would feed on us,
if those apes were our sisters.
But it was 1982,
and when you little guys challenge the up-tops
it would have been easier to label you
fickle or promiscuous,
rather than to acknowledge,
our ‘primitive’ relatives.

Thank God we listened to Uncle Cameron,
insisting that we all grew up together,
and helped us find our ‘lost’ family.
It just really sucks that
whenever I’m around you,
I get itchy all over.

Note: This piece was based on my initial reaction to Brooks and Glen’s paper entitled ‘Pinworms and Primates: A Case Study in Coevolution’ (1982) and my further research on Cameron’s hypothesis, which suggests, in very simple terms, when two ( or more) organism share an intimate relationship ( mutualistic or competitive), those organisms will evolve together, with the host organism evolving at a faster rate. This poem does not adequately explain the changes in the history of the phylogenetic tree of primates or pinworms, or details Brooks and Glen’s findings, or Cameron’s hypothesis and anyone wishing to learn more should consult the paper cited directly, or an actual textbook. Email me at for any discussions or suggestions.

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Dear Mr Pinworm by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Holding Hands

It’s like holding hands
fingers interlaced
neatly resting
against each other.

It’s about learning
each other’s twitches
subtle gestures
and soft spots.

It’s like how
the lines on our palms
always keep crossing
or on occasion, line up.

It is a trusted connection;
a push or tug
can cause shifts
in each other.

Or, it’s like a leash
with a strong grip;
it’s not about dominance,
it’s about survival.

It’s like holding hands,
it’s an intimacy
the world acknowledges
but does not partake in.


Note: This poem was inspired by the definition of co-evolution, Cameron’s hypothesis and the respective phylogenetic trees. This poem does not adequately explain either co-evolution or Cameron’s hypothesis and anyone willing to learn about the respective topics should consult an actual textbook.


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