Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Am I An Aesthetic? // Poetry


The idea of perfectly composed photographs and cinematography is interesting. It made me think about the way we can go into relationships thinking that it'll be all clichéd kissing in the rain and dancing under the stars (I personally blame Nicholas Sparks). It leads to seeing people as these beautifully constructed beings, when in fact, we're not.

I'm not an aesthetic to be admired at surface level; I'm messy and naive, I make mistakes and I can be a bit too much sometimes. But I understand that it's human to want the rose-tinted life, even if it is just temporary, because a little bit of temporary happiness makes the harsh reality a little less painful.


the world is an aesthetic to you
an idea, an image, a fabrication

evening sunlight
perfectly arranged tulips
pomegranate pink
backdrop of sea blue
breeze through fingers
shorts and converse

winter arrives
pomegranate pink
turns to blood
only when the sun sets
i remember the sea
is just the sky's reflection
and so sea blue becomes
heartache black
fingers numb, biting winds
cold legs, dirty converse

the world is an aesthetic to you
an idea, an image, a fabrication

am I sun-kissed?
does the light catch me?
am I an aesthetic?
am I art?

black and white photograph
ripped edges
tossed to the side
the same way winter
destroys flowers
you drained our tulips of colour
and the worst part is
i still catch you bathing
in the golden hour
with vivid colour in your eyes


I never planned for my blog to include so much of my poetry but I've been enjoying writing it so much that it's naturally found its way onto here so I hope that's okay.

What are your thoughts on this modern notion of aesthetics?

{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Tangerine Boy // Poetry


I know it's been a while but it was late and I was eating a tangerine (which was essentially my dinner because I'm a lazy student who can't cook) and lo and behold a poem about infatuation and tangerines was born.

I learnt a couple of things from this:
      a)      inspiration can strike at literally any given moment
      b)     don't compare your crush to a fruit because I'm pretty sure that it can only go downhill from there




He's a difficult-to-peel t a n g e r i n e
You know the ones I mean
Leaves a potent scent
Underneath your fingernails
I try and untangle his stringy webs
Against the backdrop of sunrise orange

Maybe I'm thinking too much
It's just a colour and he's just another fruit
But it leaves me holding on
Fingers hooked
Juice bleeding down knuckles kind of hooked
Squeezing so tight my fingers turn blue

They say b l u e and orange are complimentary
But the acidity seeks the cracks in my skin
Burns and stings till I decide that
I can't pull apart his segments
Peel his hard skin
And to put it simply
The sweet turned sour and
I mistook him for my sunrise
When he should have been a sunset


{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Four // Poetry


Two plus two no longer equals four.
The literature I purchase and the latest televised addiction
Resides in my head instead;

Absorbed without permission by sensory sponges -
No longer simplistic because
The sun is no longer a ball of fire
And the moon is no longer her best friend.
Children believe what adults deem unthinkable
And now there’s a reason why Catherine marries Edgar
And why motives drive our dreams,

There’s scientific reasons behind you and I
And for the price of bread to dramatically rise.
I wish that I still believed,
Believed that Tony Blair is an astronaut

And babies come neatly wrapped from God
And Catherine marries Edgar for love.
But it’s all settling inside through sensory sponges
In the irreversible clock that is my head -
Absorbing literary and televisual influences,
And bleeding out what once, equalled, four.


I’m really trying to enhance my poetry at the moment so I’d love to know if you have any tips or advice? Any recommendations for modern poetry anthologies that I might like are very much welcome too.

Fun fact: I genuinely believed that Tony Blair was an astronaut when I was younger…


{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Candy Sticks


It was sometime after 9pm. The evening sky was a shade of blue like no other, a deep shade that perhaps only night owls can appreciate and souls of a more dark nature can understand. The air held an essence of familiarity; we inhaled its purity deeply and profusely, wanting to hold onto that warm feeling in our lungs forever.

“It’s really nice tonight,” my brother said.

“Yeah, it is,” I reply.

“You know, we’re going to miss this. Once we leave. In ten years’ time our late night walks will be nothing but a distant memory, and this neighbourhood will have changed so much.”

“Yeah, it’s so weird to think,” I said, followed by us both glancing around, trying to capture mental pictures of each stone, each puffing chimney, each individual front door. “Who knows where we’ll end up.” I smile, and we continue walking up the hill that has our footprints memorised so well.

The wind intensified – my skin approved but my hair certainly didn’t - as we reached the top of the hill and crossed the road towards Asda. We only needed to pick up a few things. Our basket was soon filled: Milkybar buttons (my brother was craving chocolate), a loaf of bread, apple crumble etc.

It was when we began perusing the confectionary aisle that I noticed it. A rectangular red box, blended into the array of sweets and sugary goodness so that I almost didn’t notice it.

Candy sticks.


I picked them up with giddy excitement bubbling within. I shook the box and heard my childhood echoing in my ears. I was no longer standing in a supermarket, but instead was transported back to the day when I bought a Spider Man themed pack with my friends from the Co Op down the road. To the moment when those papery sticks were poised between our small, not-fully-grown fingers, pretending like we were cool kids smoking cigarettes on the corner of our street. To the days when my mum imprinted the temporary tattoos that they came with upon my unscarred skin. Still clutched in my hand, we hurried towards the self-checkouts.  

Please fully insert your card. We giggled at the monotone voice after scanning each item. We couldn’t help it; the child in us was resurfacing. The wind was softer now as we walked the long way home.

“Look at us,” I said. “Doing a bit of grocery shopping. It’s almost as if we’re fully functioning adults.” We both laughed.

We pulled out the little box – only realising a decade later that even the packaging looked like a cigarette pack – and just like before, we held them between our now more experienced and calloused fingers, exhaling imaginary rings of smoke.

They tasted like cardboard and left a bitter taste of chalk in our throats. But we ate them anyway. As soon as we got home, I rushed to the sink and after a minute of dabbing, an image of a Sith Lord was stained onto my left hand. I laughed at how stupid it all was. I don’t even like Star Wars… But it made me so unbelievably happy. It was comforting to know that my past is still here with me, that it’s still a part of who I am, even if who I am is so far from who I thought I was going to be.

Who would’ve thought that a small red box, worth 40p, containing chalky sticks, could bring me so much joy. I’m going to remember it the next time I have my driving lesson, the next time I research career options, and especially next Thursday when I go to collect my exam results that are going to decide my future. I suppose the unpleasant aftertaste isn’t so bad when it reminds you of the you that you thought was long gone.

{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Monday, 25 July 2016

“No one is unhappy at Seed…” (+ Short Poem)


Seed by Lisa Heathfield evinces the struggle of human growth and the dangerous product of a restricted upbringing. The protagonist, Pearl, resides at Seed: a nature-worshipping community isolated from the poisonous Outside. With Papa S. as their leader, values and beliefs are contorted and become one-dimensional. Yet with new arrivals at Seed, the conformist society once based on fear, deceit and control is challenged, questioning everything Pearl has ever believed to be true.

Heathfield’s oxymoronic portrayal of Seed was particularly interesting to read. The idyllic description polarises the sinister reality, therefore blinding the community and preventing them from uncovering the truth in order to maintain passivity. I have always been intrigued by books about manipulation of the mind. There’s just something about them that I find so fascinating, hence why Seed has had a lasting impact, especially through the questions it has forced me to ask.

I think one of the most heart-breaking thing, for me anyway, was reading about Pearl’s naivety throughout the book. She has lived at Seed, she has idolised Papa S. and has worshipped Nature her entire life. This is all she has ever known. Imagine someone telling you that apples are in fact full of toxic chemicals and your heart doesn’t actually pump blood around your body. You’re simply going to dismiss it as complete nonsense aren’t you? So to me, disbelief being Pearl’s primary trait is understandable, as seeds have been planted in her head since an early age and have been watered with a dangerous ideology, and are now further suppressed from being able to fully bloom. And it is for this reason that I simply cannot dislike Pearl. Her character rendered a sense of poignancy within me and I found it unsettling to read, making me root for Pearl more than ever; I became desperate for her to find the freedom that she deserved.


It wasn’t long before I realised that this novel is perhaps a criticism of God and about putting our blind faith in an omnipresent being. As a strong believer of God, I didn’t like this, but I was still curious, still open to what message Heathfield was trying to give through her words. Papa S. can simply say that Mother Nature told him to do something, making it automatically justifiable, the same way a lot of actions are based on God’s wishes. Heathfield makes it seem as though this is a terrible thing and that following something that can’t be proven to even exist is wrong. Which it is, in the fictional world of Seed. But is it wrong in the real world, where religion can often offer so much guidance, peace and comfort?

The concept of a restricted world reminded me of Room by Emma Donoghue, a story told from the perspective of a five year old who has lived with his mother in one room his entire life. Just like Pearl, it is all that he knows and it’s shocking for someone like me to read, as I’m lucky enough to have received a good education and am able to make judgements based on more than one interpretation. But is that really true?

The dark nature of the cult in which Pearl belongs to feels all too familiar to the world we are currently living in, with corrupt leaders and suppressed ideologies. But do they perhaps give us a sense of belonging, safety, comfort? Or are we simply too naïve, or perhaps too scared, to believe anything else?

Which finally brings me to the question, are we living in our very own Seed?


***


I also wrote a short poem inspired by Seed…


Sunlight reflects against sequins
Dotted along her daffodil yellow dress,
Light flies like shooting stars of hope as
She spins in frivolous twirls with a spring in her step;
Laughter intersperses through the air
And her hair dances with the wind before she lands
In a giggling heap on the ground.
Fingers softly dig into the soil beneath,
Connecting her to her soul, breathing in and out in sync
With waving flowers of purple and pink  
Hidden between the grass holding secrets;
She whispers, “I’m free, I’m free…”
With a smile as bright as the light in her heart,
Blinding the monsters that creep in the woods from afar.


***


I really hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Seed. Even if you haven’t read the book (which I highly recommend you do!) I would love to know what you think in response to the themes addressed in the novel.

Do you like book-related posts? If so, you can read my thoughts on The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger here.


{Photo source: here}

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Dirty Light


June concluded far too quickly. Before I knew it, along came July, bringing dancing droplets of summer rain with her. She left the city soaked with that rich earthy scent that’s impossible not to love, transforming my world into a still and silent slumber, with golden energy imbued in the air from the sun’s awakening.

I have always been appreciative of that morning light. The dirty kind. The kind that intensifies gradually and filters through the specks of peppered dirt on the window, the kind that still manages to bleed through the blemishes.

The light is the thrill and the control that comes with my driving lessons. It’s the guilt-free act of watching episode after episode of 24 and Happy Valley.

It’s calming, comforting, soft and honey-glazed.

The dirt is the ache, as I remember the corridors in Block 4 and the classrooms echoing with laughter. It’s the noticing of the books still collecting dust and the yearning for words when there are so few left within.

It’s lonely, haunting, cruel and blue-tinted.

It’s a bittersweet balance: disquieting but necessary. Too much light would force me to squint and too much dirt would distort my thoughts. And I’m well aware that it’s simply the end of strict routines and infinite to-do lists that renders my summer of (supposed) freedom to seem utterly hopeless…

Or perhaps I just need to take a little time and simply clean the damn window.

(06/07/16 – 21:18pm)



{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Equilibrium



A fragile layer of frost gleamed upon windowpanes and rooftops, blessed with a blue-tinted delicacy that only the morning could bring. The sun’s golden light bled, chasing away the night’s silhouettes just in time, for the city was beginning to awaken from its deep slumber.

***

The bitter wind of the Yorkshire moors have been whistling through my head as of late. Studying Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë seems to have delayed the colour and delight of Spring, hence inspiring this very gloomy musing. I’m currently reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë - my fascination with the Brontë’s is most definitely intensifying - and I realise that these books, though beautifully dynamic, are not what you’d call the epitome of happiness.

However, there is a quote that I highlighted from Jane Eyre, whereby an incredibly strong character named Helen Burns says: ‘I live in calm, looking to the end’. I remember reading it and knowing that this would be my mantra for the following months, as I scrawl key terminology onto flash cards and my aching fingers conclude yet another essay.

I hope that this phrase will render some form of equilibrium to my mental state, ground me, remind me that this will pass, that the calm will settle, and the end will be bright.


Photo source: Nabsticle