No courage for news

I once read a story about how moths were actually pretty, colorful butterflies prior to the Industrial Revolution, during which the manifestation of pollution and soot in the atmosphere caused it to settle on their bodies and get inhaled by them, eventually causing the successive generations of these butterflies to gradually turn grey and dull. Albeit skeptical about the story, I’d like to believe that they’re actually beautiful creatures on the inside. I wish the same could be said for humans. Maybe even the most monstrous person you hear of might be a butterfly on the inside, just the years of piled ‘soot’ by the society he grew up in that caused pollution in his mind.

I wish I could un-hear all those stories of child rape and torture and re-hear all the stories of liberation and love. The news is not good news anymore and while it hardens you, it also conditions you to the constant barrage of bad news; so much so that nothing shocks us anymore. We’ve gone numb to war stories and human rights violations we hear of in distant oppressive regimes; statistics just make us sigh and turn the page. You’d think this is the limit to atrocities each time you hear a case more vicious than the last, but each time you’re proven wrong. There is no end to how ugly human nature can become, to cruelty or evil or how low we can stoop. But in the end, I’d like to believe we’re all just misunderstood moths searching for a flame.

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The Heart I Drew

The heart I drew
It’s got sketches and smudges
like the ones they left in mine
before I took it from their clutches

The paper’s been folded
less times than my mind
has folded in and given up
to life and what I find

The stripes, they’re steady
the way your arms are
when you hold me but I forget
it’s been so long and we’re so far

The colours, they remind me
of the earth and the sky
and everything in between
that we shared before we had to fly

The heart I drew
It’s made of lines
long and short and winding
that I hope lead me back to you.

But this time, with a better ending.

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Anchored Cloud

I have a mind
that has a mind of its own
it leaves my vision black and blue
the world screened in grays and wild hues

I don’t want to be
a shadow of a shadow
of a woman I dreamt I’d be
picture-perfect but has no glory

I have a will
which lets me forget the will
I’ll have to write someday
live in the now for death will come one day

My soles, they walk the miles
that my soul yearns for
always almost worn out but never quite there
through museums, coffee shops and the book fair

I have you
for how long I do not know nor care
as I drift across the sky, shouting out loud
you keep me grounded like an anchored cloud.

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If I had a Polaroid

If I had a Polaroid, I’d take it to the mountains, sit in the middle of a tea plantation high up on the mountainside and capture the padi fields down below. Little white, gray, black pixels soaring in the sky, searching for more expansive backgrounds to dart about, not limited by customs or border patrol. I’d find train tracks on the side of the Western Ghats and little waterfalls flowing down the rock faces; train bogeys reflected on their bodies. Does water see in two dimensions or do droplets lend their spherical polarity to their society when they fall in? Trees leaning out from the side of the hill; maybe they grow that way for the adrenaline rush of living on the edge, their fruit falling to their certain death into the valley below. The valley where the water flows, the valley where many have met their ends; the valley that gives and takes.

If I had a Polaroid, I’d explore the old alleyways in Auroville and Panjim. Red walls, yellow walls, blue walls and green. Brown doors, white doors, pink doors and teal. Flower pots housed in cast iron rails outside windowsills. Fat cats with prying eyes following my every move. I’ll spend money on trinkets I have no use for, potpurri that I’d never smell and vintage notebooks held together with twine that I’d never write in. I’d buy stamps and stick them on my Polaroid. My mother would chide but I’d just stand and grin, like one who has nothing to hide.

If I had a Polaroid, I’d have my hair up in that messy bun he hates, wear a loose shirt and khakis and my sneakers because it’d be more enjoyable to point the camera at something other than my own, overworked face. I’d flit around the streets at night, trying to blur the streetlights, going for bokeh but ending up with underexposed film. I’d stand outside cafes and art shops, my camera pointed inside, unnerving the customers when they glance my way. I’d buy acrylic pens and doodle on the Polaroids; the satisfaction akin to that which I experienced last when I was a teenager holding the newest Harry Potter book in my hand (not Deathly Hallows. Holding that was bittersweet at best).

If I had a Polaroid, I’d take pictures of strangers on the street, maybe make new friends along the way. I’d get up close with the engine of a bike, the light from between the parts illuminating my face as I squat beside the tires, trying to find the perfect angle. I’d frame my Polaroids with washi tape and flexboards, clip them to that yellow rope I’ve been meaning to use and string it across the walls of my room; my terribly tiny tales, one tale a frame, the last thing I see before I sleep every night.

If I had a Polaroid, I’d expose my senses and my film to the world.

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Photography: @meformeraki (follow her on meformeraki.wordpress.com)

 

Black Vanilla.

Your scent, your taste, your milky skin; my addiction and my poison. Sometimes sweet, sometimes sad; always a hint of bitterness but I crave your every mood. I stir you awake, shake you up, put you to my lips. Breakfast in bed, evening walks, together we go through the whole facade, with you always by my side. I clutch you tight when I’m tense, my hands wrapped around you, staring into your eyes, while the dark circles around mine call out to you for help. I can’t function without you; can’t sleep without you but you never let me sleep. I like it when you’re hot but even when you’re not, you feel like chocolate in my mouth. I smile when you’re giving me the cold shoulder; I love the chill. I watch in amusement at your stumbles, your falls, your attempts at a trickle down revolution. You’re insane but you motivate me, put me at ease; I don’t mind you getting tanned, the darker you are the more addictive you get. They tell me to stay away from you but that’s when I want you even more. Our love is a sin, a vice that I nurture. I’d like to spend the rest of my life travelling around the world with you. Your color may change, your skin may differ but so will mine and we’ll grow old together.

Coffee, be mine.

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