POET'S SKIN

I dance around vivid imagery and try to create sparks

Category: Fiction

Fiction: Cancer took you away

The air around was stale. The dandelions were not fluttering in the air like flying petals anymore, and my fur coat was no longer needed in a temperature like this. I tossed my fur coat on the ground and walked up front.

I am back here, once again. 

I took out the dusty photo I kept in the pocket of my jeans, and I held it up against the light, squinting in reflex as sun rays threaten to penetrate my eyes. In the photo, we were us. Everything was as it was. I still remember the ever so vivid traces of memory from that day. The sun was a soft, warm ball that kept the temperature cosy and we were on this very field, carrying trays and trays of pre-packed picnic boxes. I took out the picnic mat and we both lay there, my head in your lap, as we counted the flying petals of the dandelions in our hands. We chased the evening sun which I remembered was dyed in hues of red and orange, Along the chasing, we both fell and tumbled to the ground, laughing, at our attempt to even run among the tall grasses. I hate sweating, but I don’t think I even sweated a single bit that day. Time with you was just that magical.

I blew the dust off the photo and put it back in my jeans where it should be. I leaned back and allowed my body to hit the ground, knowing that the kindness of the grass mass would cushion my landing. And it did. Whoosh. I lay there for hours, keeping still and being muted, without a single movement or word. I lay there for hours and hours, until the sky was stygian dark and the crickets a chirping mess.

It’s been 5 years now, and I have not missed a single Saturday coming back here, coming to a place where I can still feel traces of you.

Some people call me crazy, some people tell me to move on, but I’d just say that all I am trying to do is keep you alive, even when life couldn’t.

Fiction: Veracious dreamer

Lady from forest 3 by Darey-Dawn

My dreams tell stories.

They don’t tell the mundane bedtime stories that lull us to slumber at night, but the eccentric bizarre ones that touch one’s mind like an enigma, engulfed and sheltered in opaque drapes. In my dreams there are always objects filled with deeper meanings, and they always almost never mean what they are in literal terms. Initially, I thought nothing about them. “Dreams are just dreams,” my grandpa used to say. But not when something happened. Something like that happening in my dreams and finally in real life? It could never be a coincidence.

There was one night where I dreamt of being in a forest. This forest was a tangly mess of leaves and vines and I was stuck admist the disarray, screaming to get out. My lungs felt heavy and weary, as though they were filled with water. Instantly, I felt myself pulled down under the ground and strangely, I was then in water. I was in an ocean of unfathomable depth and I could still breathe, as though I was suddenly bestowed with gills. I mean, anything can happen in dreams after all, right? I remember swimming and swimming and the further I swam, the more my lungs hurt, and my muscles, taut. And the deeper I reached, the more corals and seaweeds there was. And so I just kept on going, until I found myself tangled in yet another mess of sea wonder. The weeds were wound around the corals like ribbons tied like knots, and I screamed yet again. As if it was the work of a higher power, my scream got me pulled down to yet another place. Only that it wasn’t exactly a physical terrestrial place we call Earth. I was pulled into space. There, I found myself breathing without the need for any equipment again. I gesticulated in the air, and I remember smiling in fascination at the feeling of liberty, The inextricable feeling of  bareness. Wholeness. And then I woke up. I woke up breathing hard, and in that moment I wondered if my dream could perhaps have been real.

Then one day, it happened. This “forest”. This “sea wonder”. And finally, “space”.

My dreams tell truth.

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

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.”

Short Story: Breathe fire into my bones

First things first, it’s been a while since I last wrote a story. Secondly, This story has absolutely nothing to do with my life but just, you know, fruits of my wild imagination. Lastly I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I loved writing it. Warning: This story is not for people who detest love stories that are hard to understand.

Opposites had never seemed to attract, or so it seemed in Abby’s life. It was always the popular kids together with the other popular kids. The hunk of the level with the dame of the school. Or either it was the nerds together with other nerds. The guy who played way too many video games with the girl who watched too much anime. In Abby’s life, there was no couple that were complete opposites -they all just ostensibly fitted each other that of the way sweaters fitted you to your every tiny bend instead of loosely draping themselves over your body. And all these snug lovebirds held loving hands in the school hall and walked on by with shoulders wound around each other’s necks. And Abby smiled, knowing there was no way she could ever meet someone who would fit her in that certain way, because no one was really like her at all. And opposites do not attract in Abby’s life, remember?  Abby was always wandering around in the abyss of her own thoughts, and the ground through which her thoughts fall into runs a thousand feet underground. She was a despairing thinker – her mind always caught up in knots of her numerous, rampant thoughts. To sum it up, she thought deeply about everything. Everything, no matter how infinitesimal, mattered to her. Everything, no matter how  important, took up a space in her maze-filled brain. And if John Green were to know her, he would certainly name her a walking hurricane, only that the hurricane’s in her mind and her mind, was well… her.

Craig was very much the opposite. Never probing too much, never needing to too anyway. He thought on the surfaces of things like minute waterbugs skimming through thin water surfaces, with no intention of diving deep down into mysterious lairs. He was carefree and unenclosed in his own world of thoughts. He laughed genuinely every time someone told a bad joke and he never held second thoughts on what a simple word like “thirsty” would mean. To him, English and all its vocabulary components each only had one definition and he didn’t really bother about the other more interesting definitions behind words with multiple meanings. To Craig, his whole life was bounded around the principle of being simple, staying simple and just, pretty much everything simple.

And then he met Abby.

He was caught off-guard by how strangely her soul seemed to linger in so many different places that were invisible to the human eye. And she was bewildered by the airy nature of his being that she could never seem to grasp.

And just like that, their friendship began. A small little candle flame initially, but cracking sparklers at hindsight. And months of mutual smiling and a little bit of hand holding led to a day beside the lake of a park, surrounded by nothing by the smell of freshly-cut grass and illuminated by the reflection of the moon shining down upon the lake.

“You’re a funny person,” Abby said finally, after moments of queer silence with both of them staring into the dark.

“You’re pretty funny too,” Craig replied, “but… what’s your reason for me being funny to you?”

“You’re never plagued by the things that make me constantly worried throughout the whole course of life, and you’re everything I could never be. Genuine, confident and just… carefree. It’s like you’re some bird or something, everything just seems too easy for you. It never was easy for me, and it never will be. And I hope you know that, I really admire you for that.”

Craig shot Abby the same longing look she threw at him. “It’s funny how you’re saying this to me because…”, Craig runs his fingers through his hair nervously, “I am kinda amazed by you. Amazed by the way you move through life like a storm, so fierce and filled with so much energy. I just get kind of amazed every time I look at you. It’s like I’m at a 3D Cinema, watching a 3D movie, wearing my 3D glasses and just not seeming to get bored of the movie at all. It’s like I don’t wanna leave even though I don’t get the plot of the movie, or the twist it presents me. I just want to stay, to unravel its meaning, to understand the movie and even till then, I know the movie will never bore me, it will just give me more reasons to stay.”

Abby looked down and smiled, for she finally felt what those couples had probably felt at a single point of time. She felt beatific, almost complete. And Craig felt a load off his chest, knowing that what he wanted to say to Abby all along was finally out, out of his narrow shapeless mind.

“You don’t care if the movie is gonna change what you think? That it’s gonna take away how you see things as now? That it’s going to complicate your life and send it into a spinning maelstrom? You really really don’t?” Abby finally managed to spell out, when the feeling of happiness slowly spread around her beating heart evenly.

“I don’t.”

“Well, then breathe fire into my bones.” Abby smirked.

Craig scrunched his face up and said, “Breathe fire into your bones? What/s that supposed to mean? I’m not some sort of dragon, you know.”

Abby threw her head back and laughed hysterically.

“Oh boy, and you’re just on the start of the ride. Are you gonna give up soon?”

Craig shot her a dead stare after realising what she meant. “No way, never going to and never will. You know I will stay. I will stay until I unlock all your mysteries and I will stay even after that. Never, ever, going to leave. Never.”

“Alright.”

And her head rested on his broad shoulders and all through the night, they breathed fire into each other’s bones and together,

they were opposites. Opposites melted together into molten lock and key.

Maybe opposites do attract after all.

To all the rebels and free-thinkers out there: The flower in you

Fiction/Opinion

The society expects you to grow among the tattooed-in shades of the tree, They want you to blossom among the green leaves and between the minute distances of branched twigs

They want you to be of an arranged order – arrayed and organized, to supposedly create a system of equitable beauty

So they make you shine like flower petals decked in fluoresce

They shower you with the amenity of sunbeams that gild your petals and drizzle you with the slick touch of rain

And you emerge: a tiny bud at first, but so much more after each storm. Then you grow and grow until you can no longer move.

Fastened among the others flowers, my dear, you are a

rosy pink orchid

a flaming Tiger Lily

an innocent cherry blossom – a flower deemed as ‘beautiful’ in the assertion of the society

But there will always be flowers in the world that are not able to keep up with the strident regulation of society (or whom are unwilling to). Though not visible from young, it will become clearer and clearer when your flower shoot grows out, into something bigger and something explosively wonderful – that these flowers don’t belong on the branches, that they belong out in the wild.

Untamed, uncontrolled and emancipated.

And if the hinges of society’s doors oppresses you and keeps you down

and all you wish to do is unhook the claws dug into your mind and skin and escape from Society’s clutches,

then oh my, darling, you are a wildflower.

And just like every flower, you have your beauty too.

POV from a bipolar mind

                                                                                                                                        Fiction

(NOTE: This is just fiction but I wanted to write it in a first person view of what having bipolar disorder feels like. I feel really upset that such disorders exist and plague innocent people like all other illnesses/diseases and I really admire their strength :’) and I really hope that after reading this, you will be able to emphasize with them and show these people a little more love and patience.)

Lately, I don’t know what’s gone over me.

Everyone seems to acknowledge that there are wild fluctuations in my mood swings, and also, radical extremities of my highs and lows

Sometimes, I would gesticulate frantically and scream along with my friends, who appear to be on the same frequency as me

But it appears that I would fall into a state of despondency at the slightest of things

and very often, breaking loose of this slump took me just minutes or even mere seconds

And when I do appear to flee from it, I felt so jubilant that it was almost as if I was on drugs

a feeling similar to that felt by me months ago when I tried the drug ecstasy for the curiosity of it

The feeling was indistinguishable.

I struggle with decisions.

I know I am fickle minded and that struggling with decisions on a daily basis is no surprise for me, and is even being seen as routine

Yet the magnitude of the difference in the choices I want to make is cosmic

Voices in my head saying,

“Buy this dress, you know you love it! You would spend a 100 dollars for it,”

“Its the worst thing I have ever seen in my whole entire life. No way I am buying it.”

And multiple times a day,

voices like these clashed against my brain nerves and these inner voices quibble day and night and conflict each other out

parallel in judgement, 180 degrees in separation

Sometimes, after a huge meltdown, I find myself in credit card bills filled with lists of items I don’t recall buying

or even if I did recall buying them, it felt like it all happened in a lucid dream

How could dreams ever translate into such vivid reality?

Hot coals of my anger also seem to easily swell and snowball into large amounts

sometimes turning me into a human monster – belligerent and hasty

My violent tendencies seemed to increase but it was mostly directed at the white cement wall at home

leaving behind brown bruises – a smear of remembrance for me

And when I do stop being violent, I felt like I was the happiest person on earth

Other than turning violent, I found myself snapping at people on a whole new level

Snapping at friends was not so bad – horrible, but after all, quite the norm

But I lashed out at my manager and my boss one day

and the funny thing was I couldn’t even control my mouth

it felt like my mouth didn’t belong to me

but that a remote control controlled by Marsians was prying my mouth open

springing my lips open and causing me to shoot arrows of vicious venom at their pride

and needless to say, that ended up with a packing up of my office desk and a letter of official dismissal.

P.S. I was found later to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Unravelling souls

                                                                                                                                  fiction

It was 10 years after the Fukushima nuclear blast shook Katy when she was seven

the deafening sound of the eruption still rung itself in her head even years after the accident

At that time, she was Tokyo street eating – one out of millions of oblivious people

unaware of the impending disaster that was looming large at them

She clasped her ears as the excruciating memory floated back to her

the sound of blasts filling her ears like a series of waves

She was much better now

no longer having those hallucinations of her teleported back to that period of time

but she occasionally thought of it

after all, she was young and traumatized

There was no way she would ever forget the tragedy

And she always thanked the heavens that she was still living

healthy and blissfully

Then one day, it was discovered that Katy’s eyes had morphed by radiation

they had morphed into something so peculiar yet wonderful at the same time – she could see through people’s exterior surface, she could get a glimpse at their inner world!

Clowns seemingly filled the streets, plastic walking people and people with multiple faces were second to clowns

It all just seemed to describe how people risk their blithe to please others, how people pretend and pretend so much that they may as well turn as fake as plastic

and how people often say things in contradictory light and to different people

However, that was not all she observed

there were people walking around in their pajamas with a pillow attached to their head- the dreamers

there were people walking around with a smug face and a hand with the thumbs up sign- the believers

there were people with hearts that seemed to pop out of their chests – the caring ones

and she silently thanked God for them

 

 

It must be so fascinating to have an ability like that

I wonder what I would see if I were to look into the mirror…

                                                                                                       Fiction;      Belle.

The beauty of the night

People usually talk about the beauty of the day

 

of how alabaster white clouds hang in the sky,

planted in an expanse of light blue that stretches on for miles

with velvety clouds so smooth they look like silk threads that our fingers could reach out and intertwine with

 

of how rays and streaks of sunlight filter through the tiny holes between twigs of gigantic trees

how their light casts a shadow on the ground – mysterious, intense and serene

of how fruits get gilded under the enchantment of the golden globe of fire

and how birds sing of praise and love in their snuggly nests high up above the ground

 

Yet the night remains dark, solemn and menacing

unable to be appreciated by many who dare not wander in the unilluminated

But tonight, I saw it.

I saw the beauty of the night.

Look pass the pitch-black outside the window

and you’ll see what I saw

 

The lights in the rooms of people, they gave out some kind of lustre

the kind of glow that makes you want to reach your hands out to touch and smoothen

the orange light of the lamps among the palm trees

tender yet precise at the same time, just like fireflies glowing in the night

the whole night reminding me of golden night lanterns

warm radiance and the feeling of exotic paradise

of how the tiny little golden lights erupt in the jet-black of the night

like everlasting fireworks

like everlasting night lanterns.

This, is the beauty of the night.

Im scared of love

I Lit a flame and watched it saunter around in the air

as I grabbed the last photo we had in the palms of my hand

I held the photo at the fire tip

and watched as remnants of our last photo disappear with every candle drip.

And every single memory we had comes rushing back

wave after wave, storm after storm

the days you held me close in your arms, when you told me you would ensure that I met no harm

the days you promised me forever, the kind of forever that would stretch on to infinity

and how could I also forget about the harsh days where our tongues lashed at each other

only to find ourselves later picking up the phone and saying our sorrys

You told me I was your flower and you, my sky

how you ensured the sun would shine on me and how the rain would wash all my weakness away

you told me about how my eyes glittered at the sight of flowers

pink roses, especially, you said they were my favourite

you told me about how you think you found the right one

and I remembered how badly I blushed when I heard that come out from the tender skin of your lips

and the kisses we had, the ones you planted on my neck

the ones our tongues eloped, the ones on my forehead

I really can’t forget it all

at least not for now

maybe in the future, I will

But really, I cant forget it now.

I thought we were unlike all other couples

the couples who were together solely due to loneliness

solely for a one night comfort

but here we are,

experiencing typhoons and floods

earthquakes and tsunamis

and here we stand,

broken.

And that is why I’m scared of love

Because you said you loved me. And you promised me forever.