POET'S SKIN

I dance around vivid imagery and try to create sparks

Month: October, 2014

All that I can be

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Let me be your oasis:
I promise I will tread on your soft, little needs,
mindfully, meticulously, methodically.
I will resuscitate your barren land,
make it bear groves and periwinkle again.

Let me be your sunlight:
I promise I will paint your stygian sky into a chalky mauve,
indigo, violet, colors of the rainbow
water colored, imprinted, dazzling once again.
I will devote zeal into your weary soul,
make you feel zaps right up till your bones.

Let me be your blanket:
I promise I will stitch you up when cold winds blow,
when tempestuous storms cackle outside your rain-smeared window.
I will keep you snug and warm
until you feel whole.

Let me be your everything,
let me make you feel,
right beyond the enamel of your bones.

(b, s)

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4 Souls

Nighthawks (1942) by Edward Hopper


The light of a diner was a lucent gleam in the backdrop of the cold night.
Shops were closed, and displayed items during the day taken off their mahogany shelves.
One might wonder and feel intrigued,
Of what purpose do the four lingering souls have in a place permeated with the smell of coffee,
to not rest in the dawn of day?
Or why do they cease to fall asleep in the darkness that was supposed to harness their busy minds
to respite?

;Him & her
Love-locked, entranced in the worlds of each other
and tonight was no exception.
“Coffee?”
“Yes, with no sugar. He likes it that way.”
Chuckles and a deep sonorous voice, “You know me so well, babe.”
Adorned in formal attire,
the pair had just got back from a monumental event, but had decided that
it felt way too early to get back just yet.
After all, they were a pair
a pair of nocturnal animals lounging in despair.

;him
Black fedora cloaking the blackness of his eyes,
his gaze was fixated on a newspaper donning a headline that read –
“Man loses millions on a business deal that went red”
The mere sight of the grey dusted paper in front of him
made his heart wrench
and he crushed the worded thing in his hands,
reminding himself to toss it away, along with the littered floor
filled with carcasses of newspapers,
so uncultivated like that of wild moors.

;soda-jerk
Did he have a choice?
No, he didn’t.
After all, almost no one was deranged enough
to open shop in the dead of the night,
where no souls would wander around.
He had to bring beans, salted bread, maybe tea leaves,
turnips, onions, tomatoes of a fine breed
onto the plates of the ones at home
His wife, his daughter, his son housed in their little dome
Yet, he would not be able to see them for long,
for the time keeper worships to keep the night
exactly 24 hours long.

(b, s)


Find a Muse in the Masters – Writing Challenge

Unspoken words

“Nothing,” her lips parted and waves of her mellifluous voice stung the air
just like how the salt soaked up by her hair stung her textured face
and words felt like gushing themselves out of her mouth,
but instead, lolled on her tongue,
unspoken.

 

What she wanted to say came into her mind in ebbs and flows
so she contemplated about whether she should keep them in or flush them out
They were slowly asphyxiating her either way,
but she chose the easy way out and the words, are left,
unspoken.

 

With a sip of a mint Julep held on her right hand, she turned towards him.
and could not ignore the sight of his cerulean eyes,
oh, how they reflect of Tenerife oceans
she wouldn’t mind drowning in them.
But one simply does not ask to go to a watery grave, no? Yet again,
unspoken.

 

Riptides crash and waves make a flushing sound up the sand,
quite like the magenta tint of her cheeks, yet not quite
more like the throb of her heart, that’s right.
The in-between of her toes explored the sand
but really, she’d rather explore the man,
the one a shoulder’s width apart from her.
But she daren’t say that, and left it
unspoken.

 

Sunset’s slowly eroding into night and their prismatic colours slowly taking flight
elsewhere until the next appearance of light.
Her skin tingled as her nerves remind her that
he is touching her, right now, at that instant.
Their chests meet for an infinitesimal moment,
hands greet for a farewell bidding that she wanted to refuse, but relented.
Toes no longer facing her direction,
he walked down the miry sand with his silhouette defining perfection. Still,
unspoken.

 

As she walked away from the beach into the driveway to head for home,
her eyes were downcast, and so was her heart.
She reprimanded herself on why
those words were left,
very bitterly,
unspoken.

(b,s.)

My obsession with golden lights (part 1)

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They don’t dance around your eyes like coruscating, flashing lights

at bars and clubs filled with tiddly people at night

or entrance you in their iridescence

like rainbows that people yearn;

They don’t dazzle you the way sparkling, scintillating lights do,

upon lakes and water reflections, with the sun illuminating the whole medium

of water that you can’t bathe in but really want to;

They are warm, incandescent, golden globes of light

that aureate the whole sky and bring glow to your eyes;

During Sunset, they send

a signal to indicate the day’s looming end

And at night they come out

to extinguish the dark drought,

giving you warmth

even in the coldness of the night town.

(b,s)

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Short Story: As the seasons change

Preface: This story is about a love that was gone as Autumn faded into cold, harsh winter. But did it really go away?

Our brown leather and suede boots made crunching sounds along the bushes that we passed on to in the field of daisies. She was a distance ahead of me, as usual, peppy as she was, exhilarated to be among the captivating field of flowers. She twirled around in her red skater dress, and I watched in silent awe as she spun around and around, entranced in her own world. She giggled and gesticulated in glee, bringing wind to the surroundings as she twirled around in circles, mimicking the blades of a windmill. Closing her eyes shut for a brief moment, she let her chest heave upwards, breathing in the flower pollen that had permeated the air with its tingly, sweet smell. In that moment, I knew what she was doing. She was taking in all that autumn had presented to her. Autumn was yet another gift thrown in by nature to her, wrapped in a special paper only those who felt deeply could unwrap. And she was one of those people. I wasn’t, but I could still acknowledge that every season came with its various prepossessions, likewise for autumn.

The wind started blowing against us and I shuddered as my hands immediately sought shelter in my long, grey coat. The wind was strong enough to send the threads at the bottom of my scarf in flying frenzy and I walked towards where she had stopped to marvel at the sights and smells before her.

“Hey, you cold?” I wrapped my arms around her from behind, using them as armour for her against the cold.

“A little,” she said, and she put her hands on top of my wrapped arms and we stood there like this for what seemed like hours. And in that perennial moment, love was all that we knew.

Finally, she spoke up.

“Arian, life is made up of abstruse puzzles. And sometimes, when I find a puzzle too hard to solve, I just don’t solve it. You know what I’m saying?” She said, looking at me with culpability.

I managed to prevent myself from choking on the lump that had started to form in my throat. I had been through this before and I knew where this was heading, and it was not good. I was not ready for it.

“Yes,” I eventually managed to mutter out. My heart couldn’t keep still. It felt like a thousand lightning strikes had attacked me from the inside out, but still, I had to keep my cool. I couldn’t break down.

“Good,” she said, “Arian, I think it’s time for this puzzle of ours to end.”

With that, she unwound herself from my sewed arms and walked away, back faced, as though it was that easy breaking us like that, as though we were nothing before, before a few seconds ago.

My arms cried out for me as if on reflex and signalled to her even though she was back faced to me. “Wait!”

She turned back and with a glance on my face, a teardrop descended down her cheeks and landed on her shoulders.

I couldn’t keep my cool anymore. The tears came. In between the hushed sobs, I managed to let out, “Why? Why us? I thought we were fine.”

She lifted her hands to her face and swiped the moist tears off her cheekbones. She smiled and said,” It isn’t just about how you think, Arian. It isn’t. Life just isn’t like how it is for everyone. Life treats us all differently, and so does feelings. Wake up, Arian. Life isn’t as perfect as we make it out to be.”

“I thought you said that life is like a beautiful ride along Mediterranean coasts and Tenerife oceans; like frozen yoghurt on a blazing hot day; like a nice warm coat in a cold, harsh winter; like love. That no life is complete without love, without our love,” I stated, hoping she would remember what she had said and perhaps, take her words back.

She stood there, with an astounded look on her face and breathed out, “You actually… remembered what I said.” Minutes passed until she said, “Well, sorry anyway. I changed my mind.”

Then she turned and ran away. Away from the field of roses; away from me; away from that autumn; away from our love.

Winter came right after that, a bitter and cold one definitely. The house felt empty without her voice resonating around the enclosed air that once held only our breaths. The white tiled floors weren’t warm anymore, now that she was no longer here with me. The snow kept falling and falling outside my window and day after day I would just lie there, reminiscing about the memories we once shared, the memories that I am now forced to forget.

Sleep was now just an option, now that she was no longer leaving the bed sheets with her sweet, sakura smell and the room with her love. TV was no longer fascinating to watch, not without her cuddled in my arms and holding a bag of caramelized popcorn, our weekly guilt snack. Housework was no longer mandatory, now that there was no one to draw lots and decide on which part of the house we should work on cleaning. All in all, home didn’t feel like home.

And somehow, winter seemed to understand how I felt. Winter was prolonged and lasted even until January. By January, I was fine. I still missed her terribly, but now only in a small, hidden part of my heart. I acknowledged that perhaps, this love was not meant for me to keep. And in the early days of January, I finally let myself out of the house.

I went for winter parties, grocery trips and perambulated through the cold coniferous forests of the national park. I went for high school reunions and periods of self-indulgence and it all made me feel so alive. I was living again, with or without her. I didn’t need her like I used to before. And from that moment on, I cut out all ties my feelings had with the love I once had with her.

Then on the last day of the winter, I got a call. I still remembered how I came back home, arms filled with bags and bags of winter goodies I got from a party, to the sound of the telephone ringing. It was ringing in a song she had chosen, which I didn’t agree with, but still allowed her to set it as the ring tone anyway. Before picking up the telephone, I made a mental reminder to myself to change the ring tone after this call.

“Hello?” was the only sentence I uttered to the person on the other end of the receiver, her mum actually.

In a jiffy, I was out of the house, driving all the way to the hospital. I picked up speed and wondered if I would perhaps get into a car accident at this rate. Luckily, there were not many cars and I managed to make it safely.

Upon reaching there, I was greeted by a room of mourning people, all dressed in white. I noticed her mum, her dad and a few of her siblings. Then I saw her. A lifeless, beautiful, pale girl, lying on the bed. It then dawned on me that her heart was no longer bringing her a pulse. In that instant, my world came crashing down. That was when I knew I never really forgot her or stopped loving her at all. My knees went weak and I dropped down to my knees beside her bed, yelling at her to come back. I intertwined my fingers with her now cold ones and put my head to her hands.

“Where were you when she needed you?!” Her mum came screaming and wailing at me.

I didn’t know what to say, but I said something anyway. “She… broke up with me a few months ago.”

Her mum stood frozen and as if by realization, withdrew and headed back to where she was seated. She plucked an envelope out from her bag and handed it to me.

“She wanted you to have this,” she said, now more kindly.

I opened up the envelope and unfolded the letter through hiccupping sobs. As I read through it, my blood went stale and my heart felt like it had shattered and imploded. Her demise tore my heart into pieces and this was purgatory, worse than anything I’d faced in my life. And in that letter, I quote her,

“Months ago, I was found to have a brain tumour. The tumour was so large and in such a complex spot that surgery was impossible. The doctors said I only had a few months to live. And in those few months, instead of enjoying myself the way that I should have, I felt the need to let you know how to live without me. It is okay because I was leaving soon, but you aren’t, and it’s not fair to you. I hope that by now, our love has already been tucked away into the back of your mind and that you are already fine without me. I am happy to have spent the last few months without you just so that you can now live happily for the rest of your life even without me. Don’t let our love tear you down, don’t let me tear you down. Be like a balloon from today onwards, be without me. Loving you and always loving you, me.”

You (all): Flaws

You told me how much you detest your corpulent self, the way your thighs look beside ours, how they look way too fleshy, much more than they should; I hope you know that you’re not as stout as you claim yourself to be in every mood.

You told me how much you loathe the gap between your two front teeth, the way they make you talk really funnily; I hope you know that they aren’t as prominent as you imagine them to be.

You told me how unprepossessing you look; I hope you know you appeal to me anyway, anyhow, any day, any mood.

You told me how you detest not being able to sing well; I hope you know that your laughter is mellifluous to my ears, that it makes me leap out of my comfortable shell.

You told me how dark of a person you are; I hope you know in every darkened night sky is a faint glimmer of a star, a faint glimmer of hope, a possible light of a beating heart

You told me, you told me,

but do you listen to my “I hope you know”s?

I hope you know.

(b, s)


Note: This is my ‘I hope you know’ to some of the loved ones around me. I hope you know.

A little bit more

These days, I have been feeling a little bit under the weather, if you may or may not have noticed. Feelings of doubt that once plagued me a long time ago resurfaced itself into the oceans of my mind, sending my thoughts into a spinning maelstrom, leaving me dizzy, disoriented and dispirited. I pondered over and over again, sometimes sending myself to sleep with dried streaks of tears on my face, about why I was the way I am. How I never seemed to be of much worth when juxtaposed beside others, how everything I did would certainly end up in an unwelcome consequence. Inside, I was a shattering vase, imploding from the nothingness of everything, pieces barely spilling over and out of me. Yet, I had to keep my cool and remain just as I was, for I didn’t want to perplex people, who probably have their own issues to deal with too. I didn’t want everyone to see that I was chaos delivered in the form of a human, that inside, I was fragile and infirm of belief.

And keeping my cool was not easy at all, especially when the sinews of my faith started to strain from all the hurt I was imposing on myself just through my bare thoughts. And I know some of you may tell me, “Why be so hard on yourself?” but I say, I am not hard on myself at all. I was replaying in my head my thoughts of self-doubt simply because I was reminding myself how bad I really really was. I hate it. I hate this feeling. I hate it when it’s so hard to stay positive even though life has so much more to give. I hate it when I hate certain parts of myself not because i was “hard on myself”, but because I actually was what I hated to be, I was my very own nightmare. And yes, in many ways, I was my very own enemy. The enemy I can never seem to shun out of my head.

I furtively admit, sometimes, reeking with bad energy makes me feel good. It’s the kind of bad energy that makes you want to listen to sad and frustrating songs for the whole damn day and just sob the night away, wallowing in the kingdom of self-pity. And oh, how contradicting it is that this air of melancholy surrounding me now needs to be removed from my mind, yet sadness and all the emotions it brings along is a form of cathartic release to me. Do I make sense? I think not.

But all in all, being sad is just a really exhaustive and sapping process. I want for it to stop. For it to be abolished from my mind right this instant. I think the abolition can be an expeditious process but for me, I’m going to have to take a little longer and the process will be more gradual. I guess sometimes when you’re at the bottom of the hill and you want to climb right back up again, you just want to ascend up but yet, much slower than you did before, to catch up on all the passing scenes you once flashed past. Maybe these sights flashed past you too fast once that you didn’t even get the chance to marvel at them, but hey, now you’re in the downs, at the starting line all over again, with happiness hanging behind one thin red thread. And I know I will soon cross the grid of the finish line and be at the top again. So let me stop and stare in awe at all that I can see now from this low altitude. Let me be sad for a while, and not say a word. I have a premonition that my happiness is just a bus stop away and look, my bus is already leaving this dark mountainous terrain. I will see you at the next stop, I will see you there. I promise I will be back soon.

The love of polar personalities

We inhabit disparate worlds of thought, yet we are not worlds apart,

for we live in the same little dimension – the one that holds only the two of us together.

Your Herculean, sturdy hands are a perfect fit to the locks between my dainty fingers

and your calloused skin is a contrast to the smooth hills of my covering.

You and your loud sonorous voice speaks in harmony to my hushed mellifluous voice

and every time we converge like lines of a plane,

we make good music.

(b,s.)

For all the Writers: “My dear, your art is beautiful. “

(pic cr: http://silversundrops.deviantart.com/art/Santorini-Greece-309707555)

“You draw! Ah I see, that’s really beautiful of you,” he commented, as they sat together by the clear sapphire blue waters in Santorini, Greece.

Just like how Santorini was lined with rows and tumbles of white architecture, the sea was lively with white boats, and their inhabitants were also clad in shades of white. And in this city imprinted by the color of white, they shared a connection much more than you could imagine.

Her cheeks suffused with tints of magenta and she brought her eyes up to meet his, saying, “Thanks, it’s nothing, really. What do you do, then?”

“Oh… I er, write?” He replied sheepishly, with a foolish grin that made her heart feel like it needed to jump out right that instant.

“Now, that’s what I call beautiful,” She said, nodding her head.

He gave a sigh and replied, “But drawings and paintings…they’re much more beautiful. You can see them, heck, you can even touch them. Writings? You can’t do anything much but read them. They don’t invoke the same powerful feelings people get when they see artwork.”

She was soundless for an ephemeral while, and soon pursed her lips as though she had made peace within herself about what he had just said.

“Perhaps you’re right, that what is being drawn out may seem more powerful, that they teach you how to love what you see, how to appreciate it all, that they induce an immediate flow of emotions just like in the movies. But writings, they’re another form of artwork. They teach you how to feel, much more than drawing and painting can. And that’s what I really admire about you, that you are able to feel right up to the etch of your bones, right up to the corner of your heart. And I hope you know that, you simply cannot compare artwork. Art is art, and all art is beautiful. My dear, your art is beautiful.”


Note: This is for all the writers out there who’ve had a moment comparing your form of art with that of sketching/drawing/painting etc. Writing is as beautiful as all other forms of artwork, it just depends on how much each individual appreciates it. But to me, I really really do appreciate many forms of artwork be it drawing or writing. Don’t ever stop chasing art because the world needs its share of artistic people in a world increasingly surrounded by logical and humdrum details 

What We(I) live for

I think people nowadays plunge themselves into the turbulence of the world and let the frenetic pace of society rule over their life, that they have forgotten what they truly live for. And the worst part is you and I have both fallen prey to the fallacy that the more we simmer ourselves into the things that will make us “succeed”, the closer the proximity of our happiness, our dreams and our expectations.

I think we have forgotten that we can live for surfeit other reasons, that life isn’t just about reaching that one exam grade you always wanted, or about making sure you top the class. It isn’t about late night homework with your shoulders slouched and fingers sore from all that writing. It isn’t about how many people you know in your school or about how large your social circle is or about how stirring your social life is. I hope you know that it isn’t about things that don’t matter, like whether the boy at school likes you back, or if the girl you hate is talking behind your back. What you’re just doing is letting the whirlpool of society take over you that you forget to feel. And not feeling is a dangerous thing. And honestly, sometimes, I don’t even know whether I am still feeling.

So I hope you and me, we, actually, know what we’re living for.

I hope you know that we live for wild and reckless moments – when we’re all too exhausted to care about the makeup that’s on our face or about the expensive leather shoes we are wearing tonight, that we just undo the hair ties on our hair and remove the bow ties off our neck                                    and dance in the rain

that we live for a first love’s kiss, nothing like the taste of innocence and naivety concocted and brewed together in the stupidest yet most beautiful way

I also hope you know we live for sleepovers where we don’t catch a wink of sleep all night                or for 2 AM cycling down the road because you just wanted to see the city lights

how we live for late night conversations at 12 AM with someone screaming at you and you screaming right back in glee and how we live for singing songs that make us go out of tune unintentionally but its okay because we all burst out together in laughing fumes

How could you forget all these?

How we live for lazy afternoons with our backs on the grass, counting the number of animals we can make out with the clouds

and how we live for breathing in the salty damp air every rain pour

How we live for sunsets painted in hues and dyed with blotches and streaks of colors unimaginable

How we live for the exchange of a warm embrace with our loved ones, how they keep us alive

And I know none of these things make sense when put in this order,

but my friend, that’s exactly how I picture life to be too – in its own glorious disarray.

And that, my dear, is how I picture what we (I) live for.