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 A sign wobbles below a train station ceiling, its sides rusted and font outdated.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.

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?

Stress sonnet By Abhey Kumar

I wake up in fear, fear of an inescapable force.
No matter how hard I try I can not escape its source.
I corrupts ones body and soul.
Some times I feel like a part of me is missing and I will never again be whole.
It is very much taking its toll.
Maybe I’m crazy I just get a bit to anxious.
Or maybe I’m angry maybe I just need a bit more patience.
But unfortunately the monster is very real.
Stress, stress, stress.
To it you can’t simply say no or yes.
It forces it self upon one until they turn into a mess.
Some time in your life you must battle stress.
It strikes when you least expect it.
To overcome it one needs courage and grit.
It’s like quicksand the harder I try to flee the more it sticks on me.
So stress is something from which you or me will never be free.
Just avoiding it is the key.

Sports sonnet by Abhey kumar

Sport (sonnet)

It separates and brings together.
No It’s not religion nor is it art.
It doesn’t require you to be dumb or smart.
To the enemy you must never surrender.
No matter what happens you must endeavour.
The only requirement is put in all your heart.
No matter how small you must play your part.
It’s a place where lots of people gather.
Takes you to the highest highs or the lowest low.
Whether it be on the big pitch or in the local gym.
So It all depends on who you support.
It’s more entertaining than a game show.
For us the people in it risk life and limb.
It is a truly beautiful thing it is sport.

Time twist by Abhey kumar

Time Twist
Dwight knew it was now or never! His heart pounded harder than a sledge hammer. He didn’t know was what he was in store for. He was entering the Pentagon as a normal Navy seal but little did he know he would walk out as one of the most important human alive. Dwight had no idea why he was called to the pentagon, he felt like a student being called up to the principal’s office. He knew either he was in big trouble or the pentagon had a new mission for him. But anyway when a person of his ranking is called to the pentagon it is not a good news. He wanted to hear bad news like he wanted to remove a bandage—quickly as possible. But little did he know he was going to have the opportunity of a life time to do something that had never been done before. But Dwight being the man he is , walked in the room with his game face on but inside he was as scared as dog during a thunderstorm. As soon as he entered the room a feeling of desperation overwhelmed like he was a kid in a haunted house. He wanted to get out as fast as he can. In the room was only one man.
“Take a seat Dwight!” said General Price.
“There have been rumours going around our new invention. I can now conform that it is true. Our team of scientists have invented the time machine.” Whispered General Price.
“What has this got to do with me?” enquired Dwight.
“We have a new assignment we would like you to complete. You must decide now whether you are in or not. If you say yes you can’t go back.” Said General Price in a helpful tone.
“What is the assignment?” asked Dwight in a nervous manner.
“I can only tell you if you chose to accept the mission. All I can tell you is that it involves time travel.” Said General Price patiently.
“I accept!” said Dwight.
“Very well, your mission is to travel back in time to assassinate Hitler. You will have the option to pick your own squad. Now you may leave.” said General Price with a hint of mystery in his voice.
Dwight exited the room excited but he knew that the stakes were high this time. If he completes the rewards were high but if he fails he will be responsible for the death of millions of people. In a way he will be nearly as bad as Hitler. This was like his grand finale, if he succeeds in completing the mammoth task his name will be cemented in the history books and he will right up there on the list of the greatest human to have lived ever.

First he needed to put together his team and most importantly the brain of the team, someone who knew their Nazi Germany like the back of their hand. But it could be just any person with a gun that knew how to use google or a proper historian that knew Hitler better than he knew himself. He had to choose between a trained professional or a historian. The obvious chose was a historian. But that person needed to be an asset to the team not a liability. Luckily Dwight knew just the person for the job. His name was Alan, he was a local historian at the library and he was also the patriotic kind which was just another reason to have him in his squad. The next person on his list would be the nervous system of the squad. A person that simply gets the job done. A technology guy who could quickly learn the technology and most importantly keep his cool in adverse situations and if required could lead his team back to safety in his absence. His name was Morpheus a former hacker who has worked with the government on numerous occasions. Morpheus was somewhat of a maverick and would only do this for something in return but Dwight knew, to win you have to take the biggest risks. Lastly he needed his point man, a person that was not afraid of getting his hands dirty. Some one that was good with guns and reckless enough to kill anyone that stood in their way. That person was Demarcus a missionary that would just do about anything. Dwight knew he had to be very careful as he was dealing with a double sided sword as Demarcus was a brave and skilled fighter but at the same time a possible gun happy maniac. Well everyone had their negatives thought Dwight. The only thought running through his mind was that 60 million lives were dependent on 4 people a navy seal, a historian, a tech guy and a trigger happy mercenary. If they succeed 60 million lives saved, no WW2 and more animosity between countries.
Finally day of the mission arose like the sun from the sky. The whole team was ready and entered the time machine. Dwight was feeling like a student on his exam day. He had done his homework now it was time for him to complete the mission.
“Are you boys ready?” asked Morpheus in a nervous tone.
“As ready as I’ll ever be!” remarked Demarcus in an assertive manner.
“Let’s hit it !” yelled Dwight.
Just with the push of a button they were in Nazi history. The time machine has given them the opportunity to rewrite their past. If they succeed this mission , not only they will be instant celebrities but also the first humans ever to re write history. With their advanced weapons , they were like advanced robots in a world of dinosaurs
“This is incredible” remarked Alan.
“It sure is. Let’s hurry up and finish the mission as fast we can. Anything we change can have a bad effect on the future. Every ant we kill or every fly we squash. Let’s kill Hitler and get out quick.” Said Dwight in an encouraging tone.
“I’ll stay near the time machine and guard it. You boys hurry up and do your thing.” Said Morpheus swiftly.
So then Dwight, Alan and Demarcus made their way to kill Hitler. During the journey they had the chance to awe at the marvellous views of past. But there were two things that troubled Dwight the first was about the mission. Should he kill someone before they have committed a crime? Every moral fibre in his body was screaming at him not to do it will is brain was saying otherwise. Should he follow his gut feeling or his brain? He kept those concerns to himself for now. The second was the blood thirst he could see in Demarcus’s eyes. Seemed like after coming to Germany Demarcus had the expressions of a maniac and was awfully twitchy. He was like a wolf waiting to pry on sheep. But what disturbed Dwight most was that Demarcus was excited at the prospect of taking human life. Hitler was now as good as sheep in the slaughter house. An evil grinned light up Demarcus’s face identical to that from the joker from the batman but his 10 times more menacing. They had just located Hitler’s house. On Demarcus’s eyes came a Sense of menace, like the purr of a puma feasting on an elk. Doubts about the mission also came in Alan’s mind. Dwight tried discussing strategy with Demarcus about how to complete to the task but it was like exchanging stares with a statue. Demarcus rushed in the room like the big bad wolf. He unloaded the bullet which would change the history for ever into Hitler. The bullet whizzed through the air like thunder and hit Hitler in head. The most evil man in the history had just been killed and countless lives saved. Or so they thought. The team should have been happy about the competition of the mission but instead they walked back to the time machine filled with a sea of grief. Something just didn’t feel right inside they felt they had done the wrong thing.
“Is the mission complete? “Asked Morpheus with a sense of urgency in his voice.
“Yes, let’s head back home!” said Dwight with his grief stricken voice.
When they got back in 2014 they say something that left them speech less.
The dream world had just been turned into a nightmare. The moment they entered 2014 something didn’t feel right, to conform their feeling they saw something that sent chills right through their spine. It was Nazi flag.
“Wait, is this 2014?” asked Dwight who looked like he saw a ghost.
“Unfortunately it is.” Said Morpheus with the faintest voice.
What they saw next made their eyes roll out of their head. There were concentration camps and just a feeling of gloom. It looked like something of a videogame but this unfortunately was a reality. Killing Hitler had set of a chain of events which made Nazi Germany even stronger resulting in them winning the war. The future of the world had just changed. When Hitler died, a leader even stronger and more ruthless than him emerged and led the Nazis to capture the free world.
Dwight was drowning in an ocean of guilt and sorrow. All of this has happened just because of his decision and actions. There was only one right thing to do now. He sneaked towards to the time machine.
“Set it back to the night when we killed Hitler!” said Dwight to the Morpheus.
As he landed back in Germany he was filled with misery thinking about what he has to do save the world. He waited until that moment when Demarcus entered the room and before he could shoot Hitler he fired in air alerting the guards and the team had to flee. He rushed back to time machine and travelled to the future in 2014. He was more anxious than student waiting his exam results. As he saw the world, a sense of relief over took them and the sea of grief disappeared. It was the world they had lived in. His team was waiting for him impatiently and cheered upon seeing him.
They were all back safely but the most important lesson that mankind learnt was to never interfere with the past. As simple as it is, History is just our past that shouldn’t ever be changed.