Bitterness blinds the wings of dragonflies.

The Wings of Dragonflies

The heavy bass resonates in the room
Pressures her skin out of reach
Rings and repeats
Tight and taunting
Tauten the noose to her heart’s screech.

The chocolate spreads velvet smells in the room
Becomes bitter on the tongue
Melts and parches
Thirst and patches
Of dry, gasping dreams gone too long.

Bitterness radiates from her lips
Liquefies the sensation of her eyes
From her ears into her hands, it drips
Blinding the wings of dragonflies.

 

 

PS: In Japanese culture, the dragonfly is a symbol of joy and rebirth, among other things.

Magic Number Ten

Time flies… Benjamin Franklin said that “time lost is never found again,” and one day, I know I will wake up realising that my life is coming to an end. The thought doesn’t make me feel depressed or sad at all, but when that day comes, I do not want to tell myself that I simply let life pass me by without ever making a single one of my dreams come true or any of my passions fully come alive. That’s why this year, I want to try and concentrate on ten things that I really want to do. I am not pressuring myself into making it all happen, but I want to at least try.

Then, ten is a good number to start a cycle with. In number symbolism, it represents completion and is related to the earth. It is also the basis upon which we created our counting circle.

I hope that next year, if I look back to this post, I can proudly say that I made it, with the help of magic number ten 🙂

Side Gaze.jpg

  1. Spend more quality time with my loved ones.
  2. Paint once a week
  3. Write more poetry
  4. Work on my dissertation more
  5. Travel
  6. Practice drawing everyday
  7. Finish writing the stories I started
  8. Read more
  9. Start studying Russian again
  10. Blog more often and post my artworks

 

No more looking to the side now, I’ll look straight ahead!

A specific intuition

A specific intuition

Trust intuition
Trust! She has spoken!
Easier to ignore
Oh, granted – for sure.
But she comes back more
And if she tells you
Repeatedly
Specifically
Then maybe you
Should hear, listen to
The little voice meant to
Save you
And protect you,
Here to guide you.

Not sure I want to see

     Not all of us feel intuition the same way. According to the Myers-Briggs test, some personality types rely on intuition to make decisions and others don’t, but in all things linked with research, creation and feelings, I cannot help but think that it plays the most important role in guiding us and leading us to the right path. Sometimes, I just have a sense of things and I know, deep down, no matter what my logic and reason tell me, what I have to do and how I must do it. It applies to human relationships, but also to the choices I make in research for my PhD and to the way I teach my students or handle them in class. And I am not the only one.

William Wordsworth wrote: “Faith is a passionate intuition.” 

Albert Einstein said: “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

      A poet and a man of science who agree on the power of intuition – what could be more beautiful than that? It not only resolves the mind/sensation conflict, but also the ridiculous separation we force ourselves to make between art and science. Even psychology accepts that intuition must be used as it creates a link between our reason and our unconscious and our instincts, making us more aware of ourselves and probably happier in many ways.

       Lately, I have been overwhelmed with a very powerful intuition and gut instinct about a number of things and somehow, every time I went against it, I felt sick. Now that I have embraced it, I feel more at peace with myself and perhaps it is the best thing I had to do, along with avoiding self-deception.

I hope you all have a wonderful night/day!

Love,

Sacha ⭐️

Treasure to Vulture

You used to be my treasure

But you betrayed the sanctity
And you destroyed the harmony
You disfigured the poetry
Of you and me.

Go and kiss the lips of youth
Walk and drink the skin of youth
Revel in the lack of truth.
I’ll forget you.

You used to be my treasure
You have become a creature
Empty, fake – mediocre
Nothing but a dead vulture.

Author’s note: When I saw the word treasure in my reader, I thought of all the words that rhymed with it and vulture struck me as a fairly spicy choice! So I tried my best to see how I could go from one word to the other. It was a intriguing exercise. Do other poetry writers do that here?

Love 🌟

Sacha

Make it art!

Transcending pain and suffering through form-making…

First, there was dull anxiety. A peculiar, arrhythmic beating of the heart and feverish tingles running down my back.

Then, it became oppression – lungs that seemed to breathe in no air and a knotted stomach that would accept no food.

It morphed into angered hope and delusions – heart pounding and parching tongue, shivers and fevers, a confusion of overwhelming, unexplainable sensations and numbness, both somatic and mental.

The colours and the poetry have deserted me; I cannot hold my pencil to make form; my brush will not apply the paint; my eyes refuse to read. I am filthy.

Comes the time of silence. My pulse is low… I can no longer hear the heart that beat so strangely before. I can only feel the tears flowing endlessly down my cheeks. It seems the weeping won’t ever end.

But still, I must work. I must read. As I force my eyes to focus on the words through the salty mist they are clouded with, they begin to reach me. I am reading Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, a wonderful piece of work written by poet and scholar Susan Stewart.

The first chapter, on which I was concentrating on, deals with the human fear of darkness and the rise of poetry as a way to counter the formlessness of darkness through form-making, that is, through metaphor, which is a fuel of poetry writing. In the process of describing the birth of poetry since Ancient times, Susan Stewart tackles the subjects of laughter and weeping, of grieving, of loss… of pain.

So I start thinking about the relationship between pain and poetry, and about the transformative power of art, which can make even the filthiest object a thing of beauty and transcend the greatest suffering. Stewart quotes Adorno:

“The substance of a poem is not merely an expression of individual impulses and experiences. Those become a matter of art only when they come to participate in something universal by virtue of the specificity they acquire in being given aesthetic form”.

Adorno, “On Lyric Poetry and Society,” in Notes to Literature.

With poetry and form-making, then, individual experience becomes universal as much as it remains intimate. It crosses the thresholds of individual existence creating intersubjectivity: I write with my “I”, but as you read my “I” aloud, “I” becomes you. It stops belonging to me – it is universal. The discussion continues and explicates the links between the lyric and love and suffering. What is the role of poetry in all this suffering? What can poetry teach me, after all? And art?

Susan Stewart then teaches me what I feel I already knew deep inside – she does not quite teach me then, but she verbalizes intuitions I could not give linguistic form:

“The enunciation of pain at the origin of the lyric must appear before the emergence of a self-conscious sense of one’s own subjectivity. […] Pain has no memory; its expression depends on the intersubjective invention of association and metaphor. The situation of the person resides in the genesis of the memory of action and experience in intersubjective terms – that is, the articulation and mastery of the originating pain […]. Yet, the mastery of pain through measures and figures is not merely repressive, it is as well a matter of coming to knowledge and expression.”

Susan Stewart, Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, p. 46

It dawns on me… From what I cannot comprehend, I can learn and through mastery of experience, gain knowledge and understanding. I can thus ease the pain, and produce explanations similar to the process of myth-making.

There is pain and suffering. In my life, in others’. Sometimes as I think of all the injustice and strife there is in the world, tears well in my eyes. Sometimes, it is my own, intimate heartache that troubles me, selfishly. But I can transcend these feelings if I make them into art. I will not claim, like Ezra Pound proudly did, that I want “to make it new”. But I will perhaps too ambitiously, yet quite humbly, exclaim: “Make it art!” 

And doing so, you may help yourself, and if you do reach someone else’s soul, may help them too and infuse this personal experience with altruism as you share it with the world.

And there will be a flame

It is a cloudy Sunday morning – the autumn sky looks like a very light grey shroud devoid of shadow or light, making the world around, that flavourless cityscape I can see through the widow, look anaesthetized. There is no wind; the trees stand very still; the electric cables here and there hang motionless. I can hear no rushing cars, no laughing school kids and no old ladies of many colours argue down the street, near the bakery shop. Somewhere in the house, dad is watching television as he always does – the lulled voices of commercials and various programs are an unescapable background noise in the flat.

It is a day neither good nor bad. It is not a day that calls for an epiphany; the special moment of revelation seems even less likely as steam gradually builds on the windows which take on the wan colour of the clouds. I can no longer see the buildings across the street, or the trees that stand very still and the electric cables here and there hanging motionless from their posts.

I have caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror earlier – sleep-deprived, sallow, hollowed cheeks, hunched shoulders and lank, unkempt hair. My pyjamas have stains on them; I can see all around me that the house is not so tidy. I have been sad for too many days.

under-the-sea

And yet, I can feel a new emotion crackling inside. It is not a flame; I could not even call it a spark, but perhaps it needed to begin on such a dull, faded day for if it can catch fire today, when there is no precious light and no vivid colours, perhaps it will endure. It speaks in a really soft, barely audible voice and sings to me: “This is not you in the mirror; remember the promise that you made”. It is true that I made a promise to someone, a vow to keep on drawing, writing, painting, reading, studying and laughing. It is also true that I asked this person to promise me she would endeavour to get better and heal so she could be happy. She promised she would try – I want her to succeed because I know she can, but the only control I have is over my part of the contract. And my part I want to fulfill, because if I do, perhaps the crackling sound inside my heart will catch fire to be a flame. And maybe I can keep it ablaze, one day at a time.

If I must lose you, or…

If I must lose you, promise me only that you will become a brighter, more accomplished person. That if I cannot spend this life with you, you will use the strength inside yourself to get better, that you will not let the apathy and fears that control your lovely mind take hold of you, but instead, endeavour to find your inner light and hold on to it forever so you can let this spark grow into the flame that I could always see within your soul.

If I must lose you, I can only promise you that I will not let myself wilt away, because you once told me I was your favourite flower and never wanted me to fade. All I can offer is to try and be studious, creative and good. To make my PhD the best work I can, become a better artist and complete the stories and the poems that I have begun to write. That I will not stop drawing, reading, writing or laughing because I am missing you.

I never wanted to lose you though… I never dreamt of this life without seeing you smile, without being the first to witness the look in your eyes as you wake up in the morning, or watching your eyes glitter with joy as you eat pomelos, grapefruit, mushrooms or spaghetti.

My heart brings tears into my eyes as it asks: “Who, then, will you share your reading anecdotes with? Who will read your poetry and who will you write it for, now? Whose happiness will you guard and whose soul will you cherish and blend with yours? Who will call you with a thousand questions and whose hand will you lace to yours? Who will you share the morning cup of coffee with and whose bread will you toast with jam and butter? Whose tears will you dry but your own?  Whose eyes will you simply, kindly look into?”

No one. No one’s. But if it means you can start to heal – I do not mind as much. If it means that in a month, or in a year, you can stand on your own two feet and look at yourself in the mirror thinking “I am happy” then it does not hurt as much, because I love you far beyond my own pains and desires – I love you so very much that all I ever want is for you to be fulfilled, even if it means that you must be forever away from me.

So if I must lose you, please be well, please be healthy, please be your truest, most beautiful and loving self, be the sublime, intricate, colourful sunset I fell in love with.

Careful

Rope of weeds.jpg

My every word feels like a pin
Stuck in and out of your skin

I know I have to be
Careful
I do not want to be
Hurtful –

But how can I prevent the hurt
If you turn all my love to dirt?

I always have to be
Tactful –
I’m just tired to be
Thoughtful –

When you fumble through my heart
Try and tear it down, and apart

How can I ever show
I am caring?
How can I still be sure
I am feeling?

If you destroy the foundations I laid
And the wreaths that I have made

To lace your life to mine, and to heal
All of the wounds that you conceal.

I really tried to be
Careful –
But it has come to be
Painful –

To resist the waves of your silence
To fight your storms of defiance

I am starting to feel
Hopeless –
But I guess you could not
Care less.

 

My eyes are tired.

Today, as I scrolled down my WordPress reader, I saw a post by aYoKa called “Pretend.” It reminded me how often we are asked to make believe we are fine or upset on a daily basis…. So I wrote this little poem and painted a little, just to commit my emotions to paper without pretending. 

My eyes are tired.jpg

Oh Mother! How I have tried
To give and never ask
That anything be given back,

But tonight, my eyes are tired.

Would it not be sweet
To cease upon the night
Would it not be right
To finally retreat?

Because I feel my lids are tired.

And all my dreams are uninspired
My limbs are numb,
My lips too dumb
To even cry:

Dear Mother, how I have tried…

Perplexed and content

I cleaned my bedroom today and was perplexed by the sheer amount of my belongings. I am not one to simply go around and buy things just for the sake of acquiring goods, but I am a keeper, and over the years, the little things I had became many.

So I started questioning myself: do I need all this? The answer was: “Mostly, yes.” Most of what I own is painting and drawing material, books and anything essential to being a student and teacher, or memories.

However, even after I answered the question for myself, something still did not feel quite right. I kept wondering why we surround ourselves with so many items and knick-knacks, as though we never had enough… It is a perplexing issue and there is no clear solution to it. I suppose some people try to fill the emptiness inside of them; others are envious; others still perhaps simply enjoy pretty things and decoration… And things accumulate… If you never get rid of anything you buy, even if you are a reasonable person, it will accumulate and little will inevitably become much.

Then, I remembered some of the quotes by Epictetus that I read yesterday on WordPress:

“First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.”

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ”

Perhaps it is these quotes that prompted my reflexion this morning. I do not need more things, for I already have what I need. I have lived away from home with very little and was quite as happy, if not more, as I am today. And I have told myself what I would be – I must now do what I have to do.

That’s why I would like to try and not buy anything new for myself (unless it is absolutely necessary) for a month. It is not about rejecting society and wanting to go out to live in the woods like a hermit. I just want to spend more time appreciating everything I already have, because really, I am content.