November Blog: Poem- “The Silk Ribbon” by Nicolli Mesquita

Nicolli is a student at Guttman Community College majoring in Science. She plans to continue her education at The City College Grove School of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies & Engineering. Nicolli is passionate about civil rights issues, history, food, and the Earth. She hopes to travel the world contributing to environmental innovations that put the planet and its life first. She loves to cook and write. She is interested in agriculture, food systems, and building a sustainable lifestyle for herself and the world. 

Nicolli’s poem, titled “The Silk Ribbon” stems from exploring her complex feelings and relationship with time; aging, the societal pressures and milestones that are expected of us by a certain age, being a woman in a society that tells you your value diminishes with age and the thrilling quantum mechanics of time. The duality of time being both a grim reaper type entity while also being a healer and teacher inspired the need to explore this relationship and write this poem. The poem focuses on rhythm as an extension and personification of time. 

The Silk Ribbon


I lie awake

for hours in the night 

Some questions 

and thoughts,

ticking away.

Time is truly fleeting, 

I’d say.

Like a balloon,


up & away,

Running & reaching.

Feeling the edge 

Of a silk ribbon, 

Slipping through

your fingers 

Time is truly fleeting,

I’d say. 

She flees but,

Why does she stay? 

on my skin,

in my bones.

Wearing me down,

While standing me up.

I wear her on my hands.

I see her on my face.

Silk ribbon cuts.

She flies,

up & away.

Leaving her marks;

the only thing

that seems to stay.



Passing me by.



Loving the high.

today & yesterday,   

Tick-ing away

Future Plans

I am still early in my undergraduate career and I am not as far along as I hoped I would be because of some bumps in the road so far but I plan on transferring to City College by the end of next year where I will be pursuing a bachelor’s in environmental engineering. I’m currently at Guttman community college trying to finish my associate degree in liberal arts and science and I have been exploring some fields and taking classes related to things like Urban Planning and Urban Studies because I’m not entirely sure what kind of work I want to do with my bachelor’s degree but urban planning was really interesting. I am really passionate and focused on doing something with agriculture and food systems, I am really interested in permaculture/regenerative agriculture and sustainable food systems. This is something that I know I want to be a part of and want to work with but I have not yet really found out exactly what position that would be.

I would love to complete my master’s somewhere like upstate SUNY, Vermont, California, or Colorado where I can get a more hands-on and immersive experience with sustainable agriculture methods and environmental engineering. I am a DACA recipient but there is also hope that I could “study abroad” in my own country Brazil and learn about urban planning. agriculture and sustainable food systems in one of the epicenters of environmental matters.

I plan on living as sustainably as possible and very far away from any city in the future so I am looking into job fields and positions that would support my lifestyle. Right now I’m just focused on getting good grades and learning as much as I can about the things I am passionate about and I am open to possibilities and opportunities to explore new things related to my interests. I feel like once I am closer to completing my bachelor’s I will have a more clear idea of what position or career path I want so I’m not *too* worried about it! I’m taking things one day at a time and allowing myself to be in flow with whatever aligns with my interests and visions.

I have learned a lot about the world of academia from CPL and its staff and it is comforting to know that I have the opportunity and support to further explore that route if I want to. I think a lot of the work that staff and speakers of CPL do is fascinating and I could see myself also potentially entering academia but I am still torn about working in food systems/agriculture and research/humanities. In my perfect world, I would do both because I believe they are inextricably related. My dream job would be where I am/do both engineering and research/academia-humanities-related projects.