Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Candy Seller--Part One

Hello everyone!  I've been working on a new story--a new short story.  It's called 'The Candy Seller' (I think you might've gathered that much from the title--if not, you're free to read anyway.) This is what I've finished 'til now.  Hope you like it!
*

THE CANDY SELLER

It was dark.  The moonlight danced its way to fill the gaps between the few trees that stood wearily in the middle of the road.  The air was heavy with unwelcome dust and smoke, and if you stood still long enough, you could hear the trees groaning, and the female birds silently comforting their children, who were complaining about how hard it was to breathe in the foul breeze that blew.

None of this, however, was noticed by the girl who roamed the streets at night, looking for a place to sleep or a half-eaten sandwich carelessly tossed into one of the bins on the sidewalk.  The world had been like this—smelly, dirty, foul—ever since she had been born, and so she never questioned the absence of fresh air—she didn’t know what it was.

The girl had blue eyes, and if you looked closely enough, you would see the starlight reflected in them.  Her mother, before she had died of illness, had told her to look at the stars whenever she felt abandoned, or alone; she had told her the stars would be her friends, ready to lift her out of any darkness that was unfortunate enough to have crossed her path.  No, she was never unfortunate.  It was always the darkness that was unfortunate, her mother would say.  For soon her inner light would vanquish the darkness, and the world would shine and sparkle once more, as it always had.  But she also reminded her that without darkness, light would not have existed.  And so one must also allow a little sadness into one’s life. 

She now sat in front of a shop she had found the other day.  The sweet, stuffy smell of golden-brown caramel filled the air.  The old bearded man would come out any moment now.  She remembered how he had talked to her the other day when she had asked him for a rabbit-shaped chocolate. 

*

This is only the first installment, Part Two's coming soon (if I don't leave this story midway like all the others.  I really do hope I don't, because that says a thousand words about my...perseverance, you could say.)  Anyway, thank you for reading, and see you soon!  

Oh, and check out Melissa Chelsey's blog, I just found it, and she's awesome!
She's got a book coming out soon, I think, I don't know.  
Cheers!


Want to check out more of my writing?  Click here! (I've never quite got this bit right in my posts.  I'm still unsure how to phrase this part correctly....and without sounding like a troll.)

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How To Write A Haiku Poem

Moleskine is a notebook company, if I'm not mistaken.

So it's been a while since I've published a 'how-to' post out here, so I'm going to do just that.

A few days ago, I was browsing through a poetry website, and these beautiful haikus caught my attention:



Blowing from the west
Fallen leaves gather
In the east.
- Buson

I kill an ant
and realize my three children
have been watching.
- Kato Shuson

Cool air--
the evening mountain
becomes itself.
 - Issa

(Issa was actually a very prolific haiku poet, and one of the most famous.  Many haiku poets draw inspiration from his haikus.)
Haikus are normally used to represent natural phenomena and happenings, but they can also be used to describe certain mundane or everyday situations.  For example:

Tired cat sleeps all night.
He needs lots of rest for a
Long day of napping.
 - Kenn Nesbitt

This was just to give you an example of how haiku poems are generally written.  Haikus are mostly easy to write, but capturing a whole scene in three lines, conforming to a set standard of syllable counts in each line, can sometimes be more difficult than most poets think (at first glance).
Anyway, here is how I write all my haiku poems (although I haven't written many):
Step One: Decide What You Want to Write.
This is often the easiest step in the process of writing a haiku.  You could write about flowers blooming in spring, leaves falling in autumn, the sun melting a snowman, snow on the sidewalk, a full moon, anything!  Haikus are very diverse in that respect.

Step Two: Condense It.
Decide what exactly you want to depict in your poem.  Describe what you want to write about in four or five lines.
What will the haiku sound like?  Will be happy, or sad?  Will the ending be unprecedented, or predictable?  You choose.

Step Three: Give It Structure.
So now that you've decided what to write in your haiku, you have to structure your idea according to the 'rules' for a haiku.
The first line usually contains five syllables, the second line has seven, and the third line has five again, sorta like this:


My homework is late.
My dog ate it this morning.
I sure like my dog.
 - Kenn Nesbitt
(You have to admit that's funny!)

There!  You have a haiku poem!  
The syllable count isn't always five-seven-five, I've seen haikus (mostly Issa's) that have only two syllables in the first line, six in the second, and three in the third. 

Here are some I wrote:

An apple cries out
In pain, in grief, slices, tortured--
No stains on the knife.
 - Vruta Gupte.
(Poor apple.)

Silence at sunrise
No birds cooing softly;
Concrete everywhere.

 - Vruta Gupte.

Feel free to write some of your own haikus in the comment section below!  (Click on the timestamp or on the post title.  Disqus comments are enabled.) 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Poems By Robert Frost

There are few of us who haven't heard about the famous American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963).  I read a few of his poems on a site called PoetryFoundation and thought I should share some of them with you.  They're beautiful.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

BY ROBERT FROST

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   
He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., renewed 1951, by Robert Frost. Reprinted with the permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Birches

BY ROBERT FROST

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
Source: The Poetry of Robert Frost (1969)

Friday, 23 May 2014

Stars In The Sky (Spontaneous Poem)

STARS IN THE SKY




There was a boy;
He went home and asked his friend,
"Why can I not see the stars in the sky?"
To which his friend replied,
"Oh, it depends if you really want to look at them,
And not just see them, that's why."

And then the boy;
He asked his teacher,
"Teacher, why can I not see the stars in the sky?"
And the teacher, smiling, replied,
"Maybe because the sun is shining already,
In all his glory, dear, that's why."

This curious boy,
He asked his mother,
"Mum, why can't I look at the stars in the sky?"
And what did his mother say?

She said nothing.

She took him, unaware,
To the attic, instead.
Blew the dust off the glass and sat upon the bed.
And she pointed with her finger,
And the boy jumped for joy--
He had finally seen beautiful stars in the sky!

~Vruta Gupte.



Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Beast In The Tree




THE BEAST IN THE TREE

I once went for a walk
Along the cobblestone path
That generations past had not dared to traverse
For fear of being eaten by a beast
Who, it was said, screamed at night
The most pitiful sounds
That would make even lions cower in its presence.
The beast, they said, it lived in the hollow of the Great Big Birch Tree
It had built a door at the opening, and at night
It would push the door—and the door would make
A terrifyingly shrill squeaking sound.
But I, I was brave
And so I went along the cobblestone path
I walked, and I walked
I stopped, and then I walked some more—
And what did I see?
I saw a very lonely tree;
And then the wind rustled through its leaves
I thought the tree was screaming and then
I looked up, petrified.  I saw nothing.
I waited
And waited
Till it became dark and the sun would shine no more;
I heard the squeak—of the beast’s door, I presumed—
And shuddered in terror.
When I finally felt brave enough
To look up, I did.
And I saw an owl
Making all the squeaking noises
….And I fled.

~Vruta Gupte.


(I tweaked a poem I wrote last year to match the 'dark yet hopeful' tone of the idea I had for the poem.  I think I wrote it as a metaphor for when a person is about to realize their dream, having conquered all other obstacles, but then turns back at the last moment for fear of discovering something they had always known about in the back of their mind: their greatness.  

It's a little negative, but I think there's no point editing it now--it's beautiful as it is, and says what I need it to say.)





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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ormie The Pig

               




I came across this video a few days ago.  (Looks like it was uploaded in 2011.)  It's hilarious!

It doesn't hurt to watch it again, even if you have already.  (After all, laughter's the best medicine.)

Poor pig...Arc Productions should make a series outta this!




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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Finalé

Here is a poem I completed in the morning.  I don't quite understand why I wrote it.



FINALÉ

Long, winding path
Endless—black light
Shows the way
To lost travellers
Who never make it home
Their names are inscribed into a wax tablet;
Some die
Some lose their souls
Some are born again—into darkness.
The destiny of each being
Is written in the stars
That are pasted onto the walls
Of the tunnel that is the dark forest.
Some say that at the end of the tunnel
There lives a beast; he thirsts only for the knowledge
That the lonesome travellers have acquired
In their quest to travel
The road less taken:
For these travellers believe they are wise
And that light comes after darkness
But there are always exceptions to the rule.
Sometimes there is not light
At the end of the tunnel—
But eternal darkness
And that is where those who choose
The dark path must go.
It is their destiny.
It is where all ends.
It is the finalé.

—Vruta Gupte.



(Gee, I never knew I could write dark poems--in both a literal and metaphorical sense.)

See you on the next post!  Cheers!  (As much as is possible after reading that poem.  Just kidding.)






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Saturday, 10 May 2014

André Luiz's Music

So I found André Luiz's channel today, actually--he is one incredible guitarist!  He's covered pop/ rock songs on guitar and uses his guitar for percussion too.  Here are some of his videos:






Coldplay--Viva la Vida--Guitar and Percussion cover by André Luiz



Coldplay--Paradise--Guitar and Percussion cover by André Luiz




Guns N' Roses - Patience [Cover Acoustic Guitar solo] by André Luiz Channel Guitar Percussion Cover

(I haven't heard the original version of this song yet....This cover is awesome!)



You gotta check out the others too! (I've heard Guns n' Roses' name only once and twice on the Internet, but it looks like they're an extremely famous band.  You will forgive me for living under a rock.)

Enjoy the good music, and see you guys on the next post!  Cheers!






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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Invention Is The Mother Of Necessity.

Yep, you read that right.
A few days ago I sent this to a friend of mine: "Have you heard the joke about the ostrich who flew to Antarctica when its kid threatened to get an A minus on the CAT?"

He said, "No...", and then I replied, "Good, because it hasn't been invented yet."

I figured he would laugh.

He didn't.  (Nothing against you, pal, if you're reading this.  I guess I should work on my sense of humour; because I'm only a part-time humorist--just joking.)

There.

But instead of laughing like everyone else would, he sent me this: "Do we really need it?  'Cause I distinctly remember somebody telling me that need is the mother of invention..."

(To be rather--exceptionally--honest, I hadn't quite thought about it that way.)

I replied to that: "Necessity is the mother of invention, but in many cases it's quite the opposite.  We find ourselves generating false needs (as consumers) for ourselves, sometimes due to peer pressure, and other times because of the mere availability of something we haven't seen before.

"Take smartphones, for instance.  First we created a false need.  (I mean, are you really busy enough to have to check your email on the subway?  Couldn't it wait, unless it's very important?)  Then people started adding more features, making the whole thing more user-friendly, updating apps etc., and mankind hadn't seen any of that before, and that's why half the globe fell for it."

He...didn't say anything after that (except "you have a good point there" and a few other lines).  Either he was spellbound with my text-message-thesis or he was just bored by my unstoppable rant about invention being the mother of necessity.  I prefer to go with the former, seeing how it affects my online reputation (in case I have one).

In this article on pockets for saris, for example, notice how the designer says "unrecognized requirement".


If you really think about it, there are so many things we've got hooked onto (both literally and figuratively)....but don't really need....

....Which brings me to the the topic of clutter.  Ugh.  There are so many things in my room that I could throw out right now, but, you know, there's always that one person for whom every little thing holds some sort of (seemingly irrelevant) sentimental value.  You have to learn to let things go, man!  Don't hoard stuff; it's alright if you don't read that magazine from 1976 or something: just....throw it away, right?  

"Clutter is the root of all human problems."  It wouldn't hurt to say that, because, in a way, it's true.  Thinking about too many things at a time can bog you down.  Not cleaning up after yourself in your house can cause disease.  Too much noise makes you deaf.  Too much cake makes you ill.  Too much clutter inhibits your 'creative flow', your practicality, and your sanity in general.  Digital clutter can affect you negatively, too.  

Emptiness is good sometimes!  


Looking back on our title, I'd say that it is necessity is the mother of invention up to a point, but after that it starts getting too complicated.  The only solution to this is knowing what you really really (really) need in the first place and then buying that.  

Only.


Okay, so, I just wanted to get y'all thinking about this....do we really need the things we say we need?  (Don't worry, I'm not trying to turn you into a hermit with no desire for worldly possessions here, but you know what I mean.)
Do we need our laptops?
Do we need our phones?
And are these things that can't be thrown?


See you on the next post--till then, au revoir!





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Enigma.

A dance between minds A meeting of the senses In the foreign dark streets of the previously inhabited That have since been deserted for ...