Poem draft: ‘Balance’

If we sit

Too long,

We suffocate…

If we run

Too far,

We lose our way.

If we speak

Too loud,

We risk offence…

If we stay

Our tongues,

We are oppressed.

If we love

Too much,

Our hearts may break.

But if we love

Too little,

Isn’t that a mistake?

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Polite/constructive comments welcome as always 🙂

Ro x

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Childhood memory 1 – untitled

A bit of truth, a lot of fiction – isn’t that the magic mix, and how most great things come about in the world of literature?! Anyway, enjoy.

When I was quite young, and we were new to this country, there was a particular incident that took place at my primary school which is firmly cemented in my mind, even though many other memories from the time have been erased. In particular, I remember my teacher.

In order to fully understand why the situation arose in the first place, it is necessary to understand my family’s position at the time. My parents had come to this country with nothing but qualifications and me. My father had only just landed a permanent job. Every penny that came into the household was as precious to us as each drop of rain was to desperate farmers in our home country.

Naturally, my parents were saving these pennies scrupulously. This meant that if I didn’t need something – I did not get it. Even now, when I make a purchase based on desire rather than necessity, I still hear my mother’s voice: ‘Honey, but do you really need it?’

As such, I only had a few sets of clothes.

“You were wearing that yesterday!” An accusatory finger accompanied this sentence, and it was pointed at my chest. Bewildered more than anything else, I looked down at my t-shirt. It was a pink t-shirt, with a picture of my favourite Disney princess on it. It was my favourite and best t-shirt, actually.

Failing at the tender age of six to even understand that I had committed a crime, I said, grinning, “I know. It’s my favourite!”

The girl grinned back at me, and now I had my first indication that something was wrong. Her smile didn’t match mine. I couldn’t quite understand what the difference was, but things started becoming clearer as she let out a great big ‘ha!’ of laughter, and yet clearer still when others started laughing as well.

My ears started to burn. It’s often the first physical manifestation of embarrassment for me even nowadays, preceding flushed cheeks and gathering tears.

This was all taking place just before story time, at the end of the school day, when my whole class was gathered cross legged in the carpeted section of the classroom. Looking back, I doubt a lot of my classmates even knew what they were laughing at; it was more likely that they were following that seemingly innate human instinct: laugh along and you shall not be laughed at.

Even though my ears were well and truly aflame by the time the fourth person started giggling, I remember a sense of defiance, and I said boldly to the girl, “So?”

“So? Don’t you have any other clothes? My mum says – ”

The teacher, a warm hearted, middle-aged, genuinely lovely woman, had up until that point been silent. Oh yes, she was present from the start – she had been turning the pages of the storybook on her lap to find the part we had left off at yesterday, seemingly oblivious. Now, however, she spoke up, cutting right across the girl. I never did find out what that girl’s mum said, because of the teacher speaking up.

“That’s enough, young lady. We all have our favourite clothes. You were wearing that dress only on Monday! And I was wearing this skirt yesterday. Now, shall we start?” The discourse was short, matter-of-fact, and delivered pleasantly. The class fell silent. The teacher gave me a piercing look, her eyes full of concern, and then a smile that not only cooled my ears down, but also steadied me somehow. I hadn’t realised how shaken I had been until she steadied me with that smile.

I felt thankful to her at the time, for stopping everyone laughing at me. I feel even more thankful to her now, with the famous power of hindsight. It is very likely that I will never see her again, but I hope that she knew how grateful I was then, and am still now.

Thanks for stopping by, constructive/polite comments always welcome 🙂

To all readers and to followers – I thank you all and hope that you are enjoying this blog 🙂

Ro x

Poem: ‘Famous Stories’

Okay, so, I wasn’t sure about this one, but thought I’d post it anyway.

I do not actually know all the technical terms for describing poetry or verses and so forgive me if this sounds a bit dense, but the part I’m specifically not sure about is the word ‘theories’ and how it works alongside ‘stories’.

Anyway, here it is 🙂

Twists, turns,

And hard-won glories…

Rewarded triumphs,

And allegories…

Proven myths,

And shattered theories…

Thus are wrought

Our famous stories.

Thanks for stopping by and constructive/polite comments always welcome.

Ro x

Writing prompt exercise: ‘The sun beat down on his back…’

Another writing prompt exercise. As mentioned in an earlier post, a friend and I are using such prompts to write weekly pieces to compare and discuss, to keep our creativity flowing.

It was my turn to come up with a prompt, but I was struggling, so asked my partner, and he came up with this one. My friend was very happy with it; I was not. I struggle with ‘male’ points of views, you see!

Now, I suppose I could have switched things up and not actually done it from a male point of view, but decided I should accept the challenge – the second one in a row (see the last writing prompt exercise).

Also, I’ve tried to work on describing surroundings a little more in this one, as this is one of my weaker points.

Rules for this one: approx 500 words, untimed.

Enjoy!

The sun beat down on his back; pausing for a second, Chris wiped his brow with his hand. It was the hottest day of the year so far, and once again, he mentally cursed his dad again for being so ridiculously harsh on him.

He crossed Mrs Cooper’s half perfect, half overgrown lawn to the patio table, picked up his water bottle, and took a long swig. He grimaced – it had inevitably gone warm in the sun.

It really wasn’t fair – every single one of his friends, as soon as they had turned sixteen, had been given a set of wheels of some kind – Andy got given a half beaten up truck, but still, he could drive it…whereas Chris, of course, hadn’t been given anything of the sort. He’d been given a lecture when he requested a car, of course, but unfortunately that wasn’t drivable.

No, he had been told, in no uncertain terms, that he’d have to work all summer and earn some money himself to go towards a car if he wanted one. It wasn’t like his parents couldn’t afford it – his dad clearly just enjoyed making him suffer. Sure, part of the lecture Chris had been spun had touched upon how hard his parents had had to work to get to where they were, but the way Chris saw it, what was the point of all that work if he wasn’t allowed to reap some of the benefits?

Anyway, Chris had learnt from a young age that there was no point arguing with dad. When he got this way, even appealing to his mom’s softer side, in the hope that she could convince him, didn’t work.

He sighed, resigned to his fate, and crossed the lawn again back to the mower. Once he got this done, his jobs for the day were complete, and he was free. Free to go lie down in a darkened room somewhere, away from the sun.

Before powering the mower up again, he took a look around the garden. Apart from the very overgrown parts, it was a neat, simple, wide expanse of grass bordered by flowers, typical for this part of suburbia, and the surrounding exteriors of the houses all gleamed a perfect white. The air was very still, and the heat seemed to make everything shimmer. Far off, he could hear the shrieks of some kids playing somewhere.

He supposed that things could be a lot worse, shrugged, and made to put his headphones in, when suddenly, there was a loud creak from above his head – he glanced up, and almost fell over.

One of the first floor windows of the house had opened, and framed in it was the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen. Her eyes gleamed hazel in the sun, glossy chestnut coloured hair framed a perfect, oval face, and she was leaning against the window sill looking bored out of her mind. She was gazing absently towards some unfixed spot above his head.

Mrs Cooper was, like, a hundred years old, and lived alone. Who was this girl?

As always, polite/constructive comments welcome. If you get a chance, let me know what you thought of the two aspects I’m trying to work on: one, writing from a male point of view and two, describing the surroundings.

Thank you for stopping by!

Ro x

Poem: ‘The Reluctant Bride’

This is an old poem I wrote quite a while ago. I’m not quite sure what to make of it now but thought it was worth putting on here, anyway!

Drowning.

A crimson sun, a sea of gold, reflecting

the weight of duty,

a burden, an obligation.

Somewhere, tucked in shadows,

a gift, a hope, a candle flickers

and dies.

The last glorious rays are visible, just.

Drowning.

Thanks for stopping by. Polite and/or constructive comments always welcome.

Ro x

P.S. I note I have a few followers already – thanks so much, means a lot to know there are people out there who are reading my blog and want to know when there’s something new to read –  I hope my posts are worth your while 🙂

Writing Prompt Exercise: “He didn’t know what to do, nobody ever does in these situations…”

So, ‘writing prompt’ exercises are something that I picked up from creative writing classes the year before last. A friend of mine who attended the classes with me has suggested we use them weekly and compare pieces to keep our creative ‘spark’ going, so to speak.

The rules for this one: approx 500 words, untimed.

Enjoy!

He didn’t know what to do, nobody ever does in these situations. Well, okay, a lot of his friends claimed they knew exactly what to do in such situations, but honestly? Given how awkward Aman currently felt, he was sure they must have all been lying.

He surveyed the scene around him with increasing apprehension. All the initial, polite questions had been asked and answered, Maya had poured everybody tea, and now they were all sitting in an awkward silence. His mother and father were sipping tea, and her mother and father were appraising him with their stares. The father’s frown was particularly intense. He glanced towards Maya. Her expression was perfectly sweet, and her eyes were turned demurely to the floor. He had absolutely no idea if she felt as awkward as he did.

“So, Maya,” he said, rather more cheerfully than he felt, “Are you enjoying college?”

Her eyes flicked up with the most startled expression, as though she was completely shocked at being addressed directly. She glanced towards her parents, and receiving no immediate reprimand, said falteringly, “Y-yes. Yes, I am, thank you. Er, do you want some more tea?”

She reached for the teapot with the air of somebody desperately reaching for something solid and dependable. Right, so she did feel as awkward as he did, then. That was something.

“No, no,” Aman said, waving a hand. “The tea is lovely, but I don’t want any more just yet.”

Maya withdrew her hands from the teapot as though burned, folded them in her lap, and stared at the floor again.

Aman was now becoming exasperated. He had started regretting last month’s passionate speech to his parents, full of phrases like ‘I’m ready to settle down now’ and ‘Will you help me?’, as soon as he had crossed the threshold into this house. This was largely because the house was twice the size of his family’s, and because he had observed Maya’s mother look him up and down and purse her lips as soon as she had laid eyes on him.

Well, now that he was here, he was determined to try to get to know Maya at least a little. Maybe she was being so shy because all the parents were in the room.

He hesitated for half a second and then said, “Uncle, Aunty…Mum, Dad…could Maya and I maybe take a walk around the beautiful garden whilst you all chat?”

He deliberately avoided Maya’s gaze and looked around at the four adults. Maya’s father, frowning even more deeply than he had been earlier, opened his mouth to speak, but his own mother, thankfully, said the most sensible thing she could have done at this point: “Why, I think that’s a splendid idea, if Mr and Mrs Malhotra are happy. You do have the most splendid house, and spectacular gardens, you know. Tell me, how long have you owned the property for? And how, Mrs Malhotra, do you keep it in such splendid condition?”

The Malhotras could not withstand this onslaught of flattery, of course, and within minutes, Aman was being led away from the oppressive scene towards the garden, by a slightly more cheerful Maya. Splendid.

Thank you for stopping by! All comments welcome, so long as they are polite and/or constructive 🙂

Ro x