A descriptive piece I wrote during my trip to China

Occasionally we would pass a plane, stationary in the air; frozen, snagged in the thick smog; as if a single giant invisible thread was affixed to the centre, suspended; an oafish father dangles a toy in front of his child’s face. The road was never still; cars constantly change lanes like finicky toddlers unsatisfied with their positions. Below, a man stands under a door frame, perfectly still, staring at the ground. Lines and lines of trees with half painted trunks pass by: white from halfway down; a collection of embarrassingly tanned tourists. In the distance grey shapes circle each other. A glimmering sea assaults the eyes; only after the light fades can you see that it’s a million cars parked across the dirt and sand. Jagged teeth on cranes and towers smile at us. How beautiful does that pale white smoke billow and expand and grow and dissipate into clouds that fade into wisps, then nothing. Twins and triplets and quadruplets of buildings blend into one. Misshapen roads crafted apart from one another form an ugly apparition in the distance: a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces are forced together stretched from one side of the horizon to the other, suspended above their brothers by blocks upon blocks of concrete and cement. From afar, those cranes perched atop skyscrapers are enormous compass needles. Herds of mechanical leviathans, industrial beasts, huge great stinking creatures meander, tilt, topple, stumble, stomp: cast-iron titans bellow, fuming with smoke as their rivets throb. The alphas have pointed horns with great spires protruding out; a sharp and angry finger pointed towards the heavens: an accusing member at the ones who have forgotten them. A sign wobbles below a train station ceiling, its sides rusted and font outdated. Shadows form triangles from squares.

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That Endless Climb

The mountain of paper grows no smaller.

You think it does, and sometimes you even fool yourself into thinking it has stopped growing. But it never does, and the paper keeps coming. You try to stop it, yes, but your efforts are no match for the steady progress of the mountain. A page filled with words, a diagram drawn but still it never stops. Sometimes, in a flash of inspiration you sit down and pick up your pen and the ink flows out, shaping itself into words dripping down the page. The scratch and slide of the pen barely registers in your mind as the letters take form, unburdening your mind of those precious nuggets it has held onto for so long. At last you’re done, but not really. There is always more to write, more to say, more to do. It is never really complete, this task, its physical form a mere shadow of the glorious masterpiece it had been in your mind. But you put it aside anyway, as those last drops of inspiration have dripped down the drain, leaving only a shiny trail to show where they’ve gone, far from your reach. It hurts to leave the child so suddenly, but the mind is already moving on forward and the body must soon follow. The page is set aside, a new one is born, and the next piece begins. An endless cycle of creativity cut short, always failing to reach the mark. 

Sometimes though, the perfect idea strikes. Pen hits paper, words are written almost as soon as they are born. The furious scratchings of a madman but this is not madness, this is gold! Pure and bright, a lamp cutting through the darkness which illuminates the path. And this child is not abandoned; it grows and develops until it is free and independent and you laugh with joy at the masterpiece that has crystallised perfectly into form, exactly as you envisioned it.

The mountain of paper grows no smaller. But I’m willing to climb it, for those precious moments.

ASHANE DE SILVA 10K- Sonnet

Inner Over Outer Does Always Arise

Sleeves on blue shirts grow higher and higher,
Hair leaps a mound as it reaches the ground
Letters and symbols known to all are crowned,
Knives and scalpels make half the attire;
Powders, creams and liquids all for the buyer,
Exposure of assets, considered profound
A facade created to be renowned;
Success to the eye is what all desire.
Forgotten, yet, is most important of all,
What all can seek and all can possess,
Captivates hearts, it does, not attract eyes-
Laying within, it’s what urges to squall;
Smiles to the mind, to the soul it does express,
Inner over outer does always arise.

ASHANE DE SILVA- 10K Petrarchan Sonnet

Lava of the Imagination

Cogs and gears in the mind, block and halt,
Pens hover over paper, urging;
Futile seconds, minutes, spent diverging,
How rules are to be followed without fault;
The lines, the rhymes, the structure by default,
Raids and ravages first thoughts emerging;
However, as said, forced to come surging,
Is original, for words to exalt.
Extra time allowed for right thoughts to come,
For rules to be kept and followed by one;
Imagination grows, expands, evolves,
Individuality brought out from glum,
And when the piece is completed and done,
A righteous masterpiece at whole, resolves.

ASHANE DE SILVA 10K- Free Verse Poetry

The Crashing Waves of Residing Thoughts

The crashing waves of residing thoughts,
Flows through the mind, over and over;
Pounding of the heart never seems to stop,
Nor does the roller coaster of emotions.
Mind is drawn back- again and again;
Just as it starts to drift away;
Answers sink deeper and deeper to ground,
Drowning the soul, further and further, into questions and doubts.
Should’a! Could’a! Would’a!
The wave of guilt surpasses the soul,
Shivers of guilt, of fear, rush through the bones,
The mind is flushed and clogged with quicksand,
The whirling and swirling never seems to end.
Crash! Whoosh! Slam!
Suddenly, the questions, the doubts rip away,
Head pops above, clear and free,
Tic, tok…….. realisation strikes,
Whilst drowned, items floating above were missed,
More questions, more doubts, loom about,
The worth of thinking, pondering, put into question,
What was done was signed, sealed and sent,
Nothing could change, alter, be brought back to life,
Slip! Slop! Slap!
New things, new adventures, the future comes to heart-
Realisation strikes terms with the mind;
Choices made, right or wrong,
Are not seen alongside shore,
Forgetting and floating, starts proceeding;
Not questioning or doubting, the past or present,
Rather swimming forward,
To what lays,
Ahead.

Midnight Melancholia (inspired by Proust’s ‘Remembrance of things past’)

I wake up and look around yet my eyes lag behind, fractals of colour in various hues fade in and out, little pinpoints of light like looking at the sun on a summer’s day. Slowly dim outlines materialise, of the door, the table, the walls and the hold of sleep is lessened.  I remember hearing a soft, muffled crying; only moments ago the sound seemed clear, tangible but the memory has faded, shrivelled beyond the parameters of perception, like the smouldering ember of a once great fire, fallen into the plumbing depths of the past. I lay my hand against the pillow, expecting to discover dampness yet it is dry so too are my eyes. It is now I hear the soft, rhythmical drumming of the rain against the roof, the whistling wind protesting at being funnelled into some new crevice. I silently chide myself and mock my imagination at having conjured such a sight: some silent spectre weeping at my bed, nature seems to be the most likely culprit. I turn over and try to re-enter sleep’s realm, fumbling, staggering, trying to wrap the numbing cocoon around myself yet like a petulant child it refuses to come and instead the unwelcome guest insomnia takes its place. I sigh and let it enter, politeness demands it. It seems as a sort of reprisal for the day’s conformity, of all the things I didn’t do, all the thoughts and ideas I tied millstones around and threw into the well named ‘irrational’. It is the time when nagging thoughts that have been circling high like hawks during the day arrive; I can sense their presence, their leathery wings beating outside the window, waiting. We are allowed to return to ourselves, shielded from the judgements of others, to explore the neglected hallways of the mind and visit that still unfinished wing, that dusty attic, littered with fossilised memories and sift through them, feel their forgotten outlines. Insomnia, though it seems frustrating, offers respite, I let it stay and make its own peculiar demands and pleas, it may be clearing me out for some new delight or perhaps returning a long lost fragment of memory. Sleep, I know, will eventually return as it always does but I may be left a little more complete.

Technology by Matthew Ung

Technology is the sun in which our world currently orbits around. It is the centre of our lives. Humans currently have access to resources and technology in which was once only fantasy, yet we are still unhappy with our lives and desire more advanced technology. Has the taste of technology tainted our minds? Why do the luxuries we have already obtained seem almost insignificant, whilst those in which we have not already obtained seem desirable? The answer is the human nature of greed. It it the reason why humans seek prestige and money. Like these aspects technology merely a drug tormenting and controlling our lives, making us want more and more. It seems the greater the luxuries in which humans have attained, the more they take these things for granted. It is the desire for these aspects of life which has driven inequality amongst the living conditions of different countries. If we, people who are born in a wealthy country, abandon our desire for technology or other luxuries to fund for those suffering poverty, we would make a difference in this world. So wouldn’t life be better without technology?