writing fantasy that makes you think and feel
Far-Fetched Stories is a podcast that offers original speculative fiction shorts. It’s currently dormant, but there is a lot of content there – not in the least my 14 part audio series The Raven’s Toll!
poetry / spoken word
My poetry focuses on deeply personal subjects like mental health, independence vs. loneliness, and connection vs. codependency. It always draws from the natural world, feminine experiences, and musicality.
R.E.M. Verberg writes poetry. A long writing career gave her a deep appreciation for her craft, while personal experiences like mental health struggles resulted in a profound sense of empathy and interconnectedness.
Some people are afraid of the bottom of the ocean
they think that to sink means to drown, and
going down is always the beginning of the end,
a descent into doom, a down-turned arc
and sometimes they are right, sometimes
the bottom beckons, the sinking sticks
the ocean never lets up its boisterous embrace
and the arc ends in the cool, calm, weighted dark.
But there is always hope, and often the descent
is just another journey, not the end. The bottom is
no burden, the darkness just a friend, a deeply
seated presence that lends you graceful hands
and in those times you gather strength by being
under water, in those times the dark is just
another way to see, your arc another way up
to the surface. And the bottom teaches you
new ways to breathe.
The tables were thrown
into the restaurant sideways
crashing into each other
in the middle of the floor
Then came the vases
flowers holding each other, fearing the inevitable
shock waves of stale water and destruction
After that, the cuttlery
steak knives raining down like hailstones
shards of china ringing across the floor,
chiming bells of chaos and alarm
Too late: along came the food
pizzas impaled on splintered table legs
Splattering their innards dramatically
over the mariachi band that followed, still playing
And finally, us.
Holding hands, flying face down towards the inevitable,
a linguini strand still connecting
your mouth to mine.
All you really
There comes a day you realize, no matter
what you talk about – the endless rain, the neighbor’s missing cat –
that all you really talk about is grief.
Your life reimagined in negative space, wild strokes
paint memories of things that never happened, like
that time you missed a crucial beat to kiss your lover’s face.
You will find yourself in the eye of a tornado, grief particles
flying all around; the found slipping through your fingers
and becoming lost again – so close, just out of reach.
Until finally, one day, the grief subsides. The wind
dies down, and the things that were never meant to be
rest calmly on the ground, feeding a newfound peace.
And a day comes to surprise you. A day you realize, no matter
what you talk about – a hot date, a new takeout place –
that all you really talk about is love.
After being a writing coach and copywriter for over ten years, I’m now spreading my wings as a poetry/spoken word author. I love to write dark worlds with sparks of love and connection.
My journey into poetry started with a breakup – how cliche – but is quickly snowballing into a new step in my writing career. I find that by embracing and examining my own demons, I lay bare glimpses of hope and interconnectedness that also speak to others, even in the darkest of (mental) circumstances.
Currently, I’m publishing my poetry on Instagram and exploring collaborations with various artists. Future plans include submitting my poems to magazines, distributing my first cycle of poems as a zine, and finding stages to practice performing my words.
In my free time I make a lot of illustrations. I like to spend time inside my own head and am into knitting, crochet, art, reading, film and dancing in the living room.
Have any questions? Ask away!
The raven's toll: meet the cast
The characters that play a major role in my 14 part audio series.
The raven | he/him
Vanta, Keeper of the Balance
Starts out wanting to right the wrongs that his race and their deadly powers have caused, but ends up using his own powers to do so and causing even more harm. His arc is one of being humbled and realizing that sometimes the best thing you can do is let go.
zori | they/them
Contellian, natural leader
Starts out as a servant / ‘util’ to Curas Laas, but ends up as the leader of a squad of deserted soldiers fighting for social change.
Their arc is one of self-realization, empowerment and forgiveness.
curas laas | he/him
Zornan commander and aristocrat
Starts out as an arrogant, selfish prick but ends up sacrificing his own needs for the greater good.
His arc is one of redemption, growth and self-sacrifice.
Let me know, I'd love to help.
© 2020 R.E.M. Verberg