villanelle in the sky

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I have always wanted to fly,
but the sun burns sickly bright,
and I am much too scared to die.

Don’t we all dream of blessed light,
shadowed by wings unfolded up high?
Aren’t we all born wanting to fly?

But mother gifted feathers not fit for the sky,
and life-altering wax is too hard to find,
eyes on the ground, too scared to die.

Then the storm hit in the dark of the night,
the winds did scream and clouds did cry,
heaven is just as absurd as wanting to fly.

Alas, no time to dwell on man-made lies,
eyes straight ahead, forget the idealised,
it does not matter if we want to fly,
life is wasted on being too scared to live or die.

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Balcony Shisha Bar, Lygon St.

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The last time I fell
out of love was the
first time I stepped
into a shisha bar.

After the smoke cleared
and mirrors disappeared,
your silhouette stood stark
against the charred stars
and you gifted that bright
crescent smile to your tiny
light brick, as my mouth
filled with soot-stained
darkness.

I learned how vast the universe
could be through the centimeters
of infinite space between our
barely brushing shoulders.

You held the milky way
in your lungs so effortlessly
as I choked on the aftertaste
of faint, artificial strawberries,
to think I held my breath hoping,
that you or us could be real.

Monsters

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Once I was a little girl,
scared of monsters under her bed,
but as I grew up and up
the worst ones moved into my head.

They tell me I am worthless,
They tell me I am wrong.
They tell me no one likes me,
They tell me all day long.

I see them in the mirror,
I see them in your eyes.
I see them in our silences,
I see them in my white lies.

Some days I can tune them out,
Some days I let them have it.
Some days I pray they will be locked away,
Some days I say ‘I love you’ out of habit.

Now, banishing them is no easy task,
especially since the last witch has been stoned.
The ghost busters’ line has been busy for years,
only pen and paper helps us feel less alone.

 

Briefly: Sonnets

Hey guys, how have you been?

I’m taking a poetry class this semester and it’s so much fun. I’m learning a lot about the history of various forms, reading so many great pieces I never would have found myself as well as experimenting with these new mediums. I thought I’d ‘briefly’ share what I’m learning and discovering with you guys in the hopes that you’ll learn something too 🙂

Disclaimer: I’ll always try provide the most accurate information possible but if I misinterpret something I’ve read or my lecturer has said or if my imitation of a style doesn’t actually quite work for some reason, absolutely let me know so I can try improve!


This week we learnt about the sonnet, which I’ve discovered can be absolute gems to read despite, or perhaps because of how short they are.

History:

A sonnet is a form of poetry composed of fourteen lines & usually iambic*, originating from Italy with two main subsets: the Petrarchan sonnet and the Shakespearean sonnet.

Francesco Petrach (1304-1374) brought widespread attention to the form in his book – Canzoniere, a collection of 366 poems, of which 317 were sonnets written to an idealised lover, Laura.

Believe it or not, this is where the Petrarchan Sonnet was born.

Form: 8 lines/6 lines, rhyme scheme*: ababcdcd (octave) / cdecde (sestet).

Content: one of the most distinctive markers of a sonnet is the change in tone between the two sections of the poem, whether it’s initially asking a broad question in the first stanza and then providing an answer in the second or something else, there must be some type of shift in perspective.

Interesting fact: By looking at the rhyme scheme, you can tell that Italian has much more rhyme built into its language compared to English.

Two hundred years later, Thomas Wyatt became one of the first champions of the sonnet in England both translating Petrach’s work and creating his own. His friend & contemporary, Henry Howard, the Earl of Surry also tried to do the same. Both men are known for making modifications to the structure to make it more suitable for English, creating what is now known as the Shakespearean sonnet.

Why is it called the Shakespearean sonnet? Quite simply, Shakespeare was good at it, wrote a lot of it and was the one that really popularised the form in English.

Form: 8 lines/4 lines/ 2 lines, rhyme scheme: ababcdcd / efef gg.

Content: the couplet (gg) at the end of the poem is crucial as it differs the SS (Shakespearean sonnet) from the PS (Petrarchan sonnet) in that it could introduce a crescendo to the poem or introduce a quick turn of events and go against everything else said in the poem.

One of my personal favourites, out of the very few I’ve read: (Sonnet 65, William Shakespeare)

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Continue reading “Briefly: Sonnets”

for you, me, everybody

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Image courtesy of: Mitchell Hollander

I do not remember when idles dreams
of fracturing future possibilities
lost their sun-kissed gleam
and we dulled our ambitions into inabilities
with every spare second spent
swallowing bitter scraps of stories
about those privileged to fly; wings meant
for glimmering in their golden glories

but my ink-stained tongue
yearns to taste pages untold
lest we forget till death we are young
enough to be hungry, wanting and bold

perhaps the soul needs a few paper cuts
if only to remember all of this world, belongs to us.

waste-landed heart

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Moving Image Courtesy of: wiffles

once upon a time
she hardly remembers,
the girl with tumble weed hair
and rose petal lips
was not afraid of heartbreak.

she kept her head held high
so she could learn
from birds in the sky
how to gently unfurl
the delicate wings encasing
a heart three-sizes too big
for her hope-filled chest
watch her as she breathes in
the meadow-scented winds.

Continue reading “waste-landed heart”

stars, space & an empty place

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image courtesy of: borda

she remembers that night,
no stars dusted the evening sky
but their residual light
flickered in his wandering eyes
and how she desperately wanted to hold –
his gaze, hand or mind
for them to share a hazy moment
in suspended time

too bad
he was on the other side
of an unfamiliar room
filled with mutual strangers
maybe with enough imagination
they could have been
the newest constellation

already tenuously connected by
some star-struck fate,
but too scared or sober
to name this new feeling or shape
much less ask if he
maybe thought the same

it’s funny how
she has learnt all about
the grand, infinite universe
but her saturday night silence
still felt like the most empty
and hopeless space
that she has ever known

 

What of

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what of hope
but empty promises
if you do not
dream of dandelion fields
and look for four-leaf clovers
in pavement cracks
sometimes?
(even though you’ve never seen one)

what of ambition
but unbridled fantasies
if you do not
bellow your wild ideas
to the skies?
(the ones that make
the earth tremble
and the seas part way)

what of love
but heartbreaks and mistakes
if you do not
try to swallow it
but find its fluttery wings
tickling the pit of your stomach
leaving feathers on your tongue
when you least expect it to?
(the 2am I miss yous
and 2.05am tinder convos
tastes strangely like vodka)

Continue reading “What of”

friday night – out

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excuse the mess (referring to both my room & me) – genuine photo I sent to a friend to show her what I was wearing prior to the event that inspired the poem below (09/16)

9pm – 3am
(day off)

my white jeans
are stained with sticky memories
and I wish they were covered
with the drinks
I shouldn’t have drowned in
instead.

It’s funny how you tell people
you regret friday night
and they wink and say
“bet you had fun though!”

As if clinging onto people
instead of my toppling pride
would be in the highlight reel
of my life.

As if wanting to vomit up excuses why
I’m acting like a scared little girl
and not being heard or seen
doesn’t make me want to cry.

As if becoming a fumbling stumbling mess
was what I was looking forwards to
all this time.

at least I learnt that
losing control
when you feel out of control
is like jumping off a bridge
just because you’re sick
of the way gravity
makes the air feel so heavy
on your shoulders
(it’s stupid)

and even though
alcohol makes you
feel like you can fly
away from both the whispers
and indifference
the shots will always hit you
and here comes the fall
everybody/nobody
was waiting for

remember
when you said you wouldn’t
do this ever again?

[work/out]

sommelier

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I will never be
the girl who keeps
a sharp tongue
locked behind smirking red lips,
her canines ready to pierce
the throbbing hearts
of sweat drenched men.

swirl their blood
around her mouth
like cheap shiraz,
a goddess
would never swallow
a poor man’s lies.

she tastes
these complicated
and interlaced notes
of desire and desperation
like a true sommelier
of sleazy drunkards and
self purported ‘gentlemen’
different varieties
off the same vines (veins)
never quite good enough
to pair with her tannin-coated heart

Continue reading “sommelier”