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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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.

The Girl Who Spoke 5 Languages

How many languages can you speak?

I can only speak two, a rather common feat in such a globalised world. I have never consciously learnt another language, I’ve just grown up in a bilingual environment. I remember meeting a girl last year who was fluent five different languages: German, English, French, Japanese and Latin.

She told me that she wants to be a translator in the future and she’s on an exchange to improve her English. I was so happy for her because it seemed like she was on the right track to achieving her dreams. At the same time, I couldn’t help being a little envious. This envy was not just for her fluency in multiple languages, but more for the absolute certainty she held to her dream and the effort she put in to make it happen.

The story she told me about finding her niche went something like this:

“You know those Lets Play videos on youtube? Yeah. Those ones where gamers play all sorts of different games for entertainment. One of those guys was playing what was originally a Japanese game translated into English. The gamer was complaining about how bad the translations were and I agreed, they were absolutely terrible! It was then and there that I thought, you know what, I can do better.Continue reading “The Girl Who Spoke 5 Languages”