Friday, 20 April 2012

The Collector

Since the baby arrived on the weekend, computer time has gone out the window. So this week I intended to fuse two entries into one. Chuck Wendig had one on Death, celebrating the upcoming release of his new novel, Blackbirds. I missed the deadline for this one as he moved it forward a day, but I am still in time for the 100 Word Challenge. This week we had to do a sonnetAt least 14 lines, 10 syllables per line if you wanted to (I ditched this rule) and with the rhythm a-b-a-b c-d-c-d e-f-e-f g-g.
Picture pinched from here

The Collector

Midst the sycophants whispered chittering
The Collector utters a sibilant hiss
Bewtixt distain and lust He stares at the thing
“Thhiiiisss,” He hath pronounced, “I shall take thisssss”

His minions depart with alacrity
Unleashing famine, the pox, and clash of war
Destruction rained down on every city
Scourges blight and slay; life never naemore

Too slow for The Collector, so with tongue
He reaches out, a drop of saliva
Falls like acid rain and touches the sun
And Lo! Ra is slain! On Earth no survivor

Not even time for the last trump to sound
Nothing but corpses on the cold dark ground

And here’s a fluffy bunny to cheer you up after that, taken from here
On a separate note, whatever was stopping me from writing comments on my own blog has magically disappeared, so I will go back through thanking people when I get a spare moment. I wasn’t snubbing you, it was some sort of technical glitch caused by the whims of the government, the stupid filtering software at school, and the idiotic ISP we have at home.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Bokeh on my visor

I’m generally a pretty upbeat bloke brimming with optimism and I definitely ascribe to the power of positive thinking. One day when I knew the traffic was going to be absolutely batshit insane due to rain and roadworks, I decided before jumping into the fray I’d focus on remaining in a good mood. So thinking happy thoughts and singing a soppy love song I set out, and managed to arrive 45 minutes later (instead of 10 with no traffic) still with a smile on my face. Similar road conditions on the way back and it worked for the return journey too, and while idling at a traffic light I started to think of how to put a positive spin on describing it. The obvious answer to me was poetry. While I don’t mind the occasional haiku, or a bit of ribald doggerel poetry never really did it for me.  

But I read recently on Buddhafulkat’s website that it’s Poetry Month. It’s perfect timing, as we’re slogging through a unit on poems at school. 
Not just any poems but... dun Dun DUN: 
Like comics, poetry was not something I ever really got into.  I don’t have any old angsty poems where everything is black and depressive squirrelled away anywhere.I’ve got a vague handle on it from teaching it for so many years, and know the basics. I have recently borrowed a colleague’s favourite poetry book and am working my way through them to see if anything rubs off. So far though, still not a fan.
OK so admittedly the traffic isn’t usually as bad as this picture from the Hanoi Grapevine, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of hyperbole.

Gentle rain falls like mist
Bokeh on my visor
Muted tones, dull and damp
Occasional flashes of vibrant colour -
Like small gleaming fish
The yellow of altar flowers 
Awaiting sale in a basket.

Red light; a pause for thought
Discordant cacophony of horns
Be still, contemplate the moment
This time while watching others struggle
Empathise with them, even as they 
Swim like salmon, upstream against the traffic

Easing back into the flow, leaving a gap
So that others may be grateful
For the proffered mercy; not naivete this time 
But a rare case of kindness
On these hectic roads.

Bottlenecks and jams
Accompanied by strident honking
Savour the pause by being lost in thought
Practice patience and generosity.

Enjoying the warmth of fond memories
Buoyed and cheered by who awaits
The journey enhanced by the destination.

Final stretch, muddy puddles splashing
Warm chocolate merely lacking marshmallows.

Back to the loving embrace.

From Sinfest - perfect illustration if this is too overwrought. Not being a fan of the style, I can’t really tell.